Coriolis Acceleration

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Coriolis Acceleration

An acceleration of a particle moving in a relative coordinate system. The total acceleration of the particle, as measured in an inertial coordinate system, may be expressed as the sum of the acceleration within the relative system, the acceleration of the relative system itself, and the coriolis acceleration.
Physically, coriolis acceleration may be considered as coming from the conservation of momentum in a body moving in a direction not parallel to the axis of rotation of the relative system.
Mathematically, coriolis acceleration comes from the differentiation of terms containing the angular velocity Missing Image:IMG src="c_files/omegasm.gif" in the expression for the absolute velocity of the particle.
In the case of the earth, moving with angular velocity Missing Image:IMG src="c_files/omegasm.gif", a particle moving relative to the earth with velocity v has the coriolis acceleration 2Missing Image:IMG src="c_files/omegasm.gif" * v. If Newton laws are to be applied in the relative system, the coriolis acceleration and the acceleration of the relative system must be treated as forces. See apparent force, coriolis force, inertial force, gravity.


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use