Saturday, July 13, 2013

Down the drain

Terry Baurley
ES 141

While 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.

In an 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 American, 2001)

In the 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)

In 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 .
Scientific American. (2001, January 28).

1 comment:

Bruce Berman said...

Very nice work