Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Observations from the experiment

My group observed that the sink drained in a counter clockwise rotation while the toilet drained clockwise. Contrary to Matt, I do not believe that anything was misinterpreted, but rather that the experiment was flawed. First, I believe that the toilet drained clockwise merely because the jets pushed the water in a clockwise rotation in order to create a strong enough vortex to flush things down the toilet. If the jets were not at an angle, the flush would probably splash and be much less smooth and much more messy. Therefore, I believe that the toilet is not comprable to the sink. However, I believe that the sink draines in a counter clockwise rotation because of the coriolis effect. the coriolis effect comes into play because the earths rotation exerts a force on the water, that when coupled with gravity, creates a vortex. Much in the same way that hurricanes are subject to the coriolis effect, I believe that this sink was as well. According to a blog http://blog.sciencegeekgirl.com/2008/04/06/myth-3-does-water-swirl-counter-clockwise-in-the-southern-hemisphere/ and other sources, MIT did a study on the coriolis effect by draining water from a basin and found that it consistantly drained counter clockwise. This study was done at MIT in cambridge (northern hemisphere) and I believe that it would be the opposite in the southern hemisphere. I was irritated to learn that scientists are still conflicted about this problem. The contested issue is how long the water must be at rest before the draining can begin. Because I see no strong evidence online to disprove the myth, I am going to stick with my gut and say that the water does indeed drain in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres. All this could be wrong and Prof Berman could have lifted his hand out at an angle or something of that sort, but I'm assuming an uncontaminated experiment. Thanks Everyone

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