Welcome to Snails to Whales, Bruce Berman's Boston Harbor blog focused on both the little and the big things that make Boston Harbor such an extraordinary place to live, work and play.
It is also a place for my Boston University students and my colleagues at Save the Harbor / Save the Bay to share their work and experiences.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Down the drain
conducting the experiment our classmate placed his hand over the drain and
proceeded to fill the sink approximately a quarter full. After turning off the
water we watch the water flow down the drain and it seemed to go in a clockwise
direction. Not being sure of what we really saw even though we had a consensus
of all five of us saying that the water went down in a clockwise direction. We
decided to run the experiment again. So the same classmate placed his hand over
the drain and proceeded to fill the sink again approximately ¼ full. After
turning off the water again and taking his hand from the drain we all observed
what we believe was the water draining in a Clockwise direction.
article in scientific American it seems to attribute the process of water going
down the drain is what’s known as Coriolis effect. Even in the article in
scientific American it seems that this effect is in dispute. Some of
suggestions for further experiments seem to suggest that the type is sink, the
angle any amount of water may play significant roles in the outcome of the
experiment. There is also some suggestion in the article by Brad Hanson to the
staff geologist to Louisiana geological survey, “That the rotation of the earth
tends to accelerate training water in a clockwise direction in the northern
hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern.” (Scientific
additional abstract by David J Van Domelen at Ohio State University Department
of physics seems to suggest that the variation in the sink and other variables
make it almost impossible to prove the effect. He suggests that the water going
down the sink will continue going down way it went into the sink. He also goes
to contends that “under extremely controlled conditions, this can cause water
to flow out of container counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and
clockwise in the southern hemisphere, but your kitchen sink is not so
controlled.” “Things like left over spin
from filling the sink (even when the water looks still, it’s rotating
slowly for long time after it seems to stop.)” (Domelen)
Conclusion even though they use the example of hurricanes and cyclones in their
rotations in the northern and southern hemisphere as a basis for the effect,
there are too many variables within wind, water, and current just as the
variables of a sink make it almost impossible to prove. The real defining
question but Thomas Humphrey seems to suggest that a toilet or sink does not
have the volume of water to be affected by the Coriolis effect. (Congress)
Congress, t. L. (n.d.). Everyday Mysteries.
Domelen, D. J. (n.d.).
Getting around the Coriolis Force. Ohio State University Dept of Physics