# Why does the toilet?

## Main Question or Discussion Point

I wouldn't think the hmisphere you're in would make that much of a difference in the flushing of your toilet. I don't under stand why the toilet flushes clockwise in The Northern Hemisphere and counter clockwise in The Southern.

Gravity and rotation velocities are the same. Just what is it that makes it spin one way or the opposite?

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Doc Al
Mentor
Line said:
I wouldn't think the hmisphere you're in would make that much of a difference in the flushing of your toilet.
It doesn't.
I don't under stand why the toilet flushes clockwise in The Northern Hemisphere and counter clockwise in The Southern.
If toilets flush differently in the Southern hemisphere, it's because they are made differently.

Gravity and rotation velocities are the same. Just what is it that makes it spin one way or the opposite?
Actually, things are not quite the same. Above the equator, points north rotate slower than points south--leading to counter-clockwise rotation of large vortices (like hurricanes) in the Northern hemisphere; below the equator, just the opposite. This is the coriolis effect. But on the scale of toilets, the effect is extremely small and undetectable without extreme measures.

HallsofIvy
Homework Helper
But I love the title! "Why does the Toilet?" I'll ponder that forever!

The Northern Hemishpere rotates slower....how?

Doc Al
Mentor
Line said:
The Northern Hemishpere rotates slower....how?
Let me be clearer: The Northern Hemisphere doesn't rotate slower, but in the Northern Hemisphere, points north move slower than points south.

All points have the same angular speed, of course. But the linear speed depends on your distance from the axis of rotation: the further away from the axis, the faster. In the Northern Hemisphere, points north move slower than points south since they are closer to the axis.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
Damn simpsons and their propoganda!

In my physics class we learned why, but that was 2 years ago and I forgot now. Good luck on finding this one out.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
azneternity said:
In my physics class we learned why, but that was 2 years ago and I forgot now. Good luck on finding this one out.
It's how the manufactorer builds the toilet. The physical principle your thinking about doesn't work on small scales.