Rotating Reference Frame - Fictitious Forces

Fictitious Forces

All non-inertial reference frames exhibit fictitious forces. Rotating reference frames are characterized by three fictitious forces

  • the centrifugal force
  • the Coriolis force

and, for non-uniformly rotating reference frames,

  • the Euler force.

Scientists living in a rotating box can measure the speed and direction of their rotation by measuring these fictitious forces. For example, Léon Foucault was able to show the Coriolis force that results from the Earth's rotation using the Foucault pendulum. If the Earth were to rotate a thousandfold faster (making each day only ≈86 seconds long), these fictitious forces could be felt as easily by humans, as they are when on a spinning carousel.

Read more about this topic:  Rotating Reference Frame

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