Coriolis force

    What are known as liquid Coriolis flow measuring devices are often used to accurately measure a material flow in filling systems. These use a very special force or phenomenon: the Coriolis force.

    This force originates from the motion of the Earth rotating around its axis. We see this in the natural world where the Earth rotates faster at the equator than the poles as the equator has to travel further. When a parcel of air leaves its latitude, it retains its speed. For example if the air flows south in the northern hemisphere, it encounters latitudes which are travelling faster than its region of origin. The parcel of air will then be travelling slower than the Earth under it and will be deflected to the west. If it flows north, it encounters “slower” regions. The parcel of air will now be travelling faster than the Earth’s surface so the wind is deflected to the east. The situation is reversed in the southern hemisphere. The Coriolis force therefore impacts on all kinds of flows: pushing them to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

    The Coriolis force affects every moving object on Earth. This phenomenon, with its effect on bodies and materials, was first investigated by Isaac Newton.

    In engineering, Coriolis forces are important when a rotary movement is combined with a second movement. This is the case with robots for example which turn and extend their arm at the same time.