Coriolis (forces of)

Coriolis (forces of)

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The Coriolis forces they are apparent forces, responsible for the deviation of the trajectory of a body that moves on a rotating surface.

On Earth, for example, the trajectory of an object, such as a hypothetical projectile fired from Ecuador towards the North Pole, instead of going straight, is diverted eastward. Obviously, if the path goes from Ecuador to the South Pole, the Coriolis force drives the body in the West direction.

This phenomenon is due to the fact that the speed of rotation, with which a body is animated in Ecuador, is greater than that of the body itself in proximity to the poles.

Coriolis forces have a remarkable importance in the atmospheric circulation and must be taken into account in the calculations on the movement of the missiles. Its name is due to the French physicist Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis (1792-1843) who was the first to study them. Together with Poncelet, Coriolis was one of the scientists who contributed the most in that branch of rational mechanics towards practical studies, from which the applied mechanics were born.

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