School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Ma-3 Coriolis Acceleration

Published: Tuesday 04 April 2006 - Updated: Thursday 17 March 2011


To demonstrate the path of an object viewed from both a frame attached to the earth and one attached to the rotating frame.



Click on pictures to enlarge.

New Coriolis Apparatus

Coriolis pic


Coriolis B

Coriolis A


A pendulum is supported on a trapezoidal frame that may be rotated at constant speed by a friction wheel in contact with the lower base. A camera mounted on the axis of rotation transmits an image of the swinging pendulum bob to a nearby monitor. The camera may by the flick of a lever either rotate with the rotating frame or be locked so that it is in a fixed frame of reference. The path followed by the swinging pendulum can be viewed in either of the two frames. The straight line motion of the pendulum produces a varied selection of curved traces in the rotating frame.

Safety notes

Electrical safety 


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