What is Coriolis Force? 

By Devyani Singh|Updated : June 29th, 2022

The Coriolis force is an apparent or fictitious force that works on the objects already in motion. One such example is the Earth’s rotation which causes the Coriolis effect in the form of wind deflection. The Coriolis effect explains the deflection of wind towards the right in the northern hemisphere and towards the left in the southern hemisphere. 

The concept was mentioned in 1835 in an academic paper by a French scientist named Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis.

Define Coriolis Force?

Coriolis Force, named after the French scientist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, is also called the Ferrel’s Law, is an apparent, inertial and fictitious force caused by the motion of an object within a frame of reference. 

It states that when the Newtonian laws of motion are to be used in a rotating body’s reference, an inertial force shall act towards the right on a counterclockwise rotating body and towards the left on a clockwise rotation body. 

Coriolis force is used to explain the force caused by the Earth’s rotation. Deflection towards the right and left is caused by the motion in the northern and southern hemispheres of the earth respectively.

 This deflection is dependent on the wind velocity. It shares a directly proportional relation where when the velocity is high, the deflection will be more too. The velocity of wind is dependent on the pressure gradient force, where the higher the pressure gradient force is, the more will be the velocity and hence, causing a greater deflection as well.

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FAQ’s about What is Coriolis Force? 

  • The Coriolis force is the interior force caused by the rotation of the earth. This causes the deflection of wind in the northern and southern hemispheres towards the right and left respectively. 

  • The earth’s rotation causes the Coriolis force to act. 

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