Friday, July 12, 2013

Yue Chan: 1st post

  • Hello there, my name is Yue Chan. I'm currently entering my 4th year as an undergraduate student at Boston University. I'm majoring in biology with a concentration in ecology and conservation with a minor in marine science.  My love for cats knows no end, and that was how I found my love for biology and then my want to help curb the adverse effects of climate change. I chose a minor in marine science so that I could also satiate my love for salt marshes and hopefully one day work with preventing their rapid erosion. 
  • I chose this course because, although I am familiar with Georgian coasts, I don't know very much at all about Massachusetts' coasts. I've been very busy with school the last 3 years and haven't had any time or opportunity to explore the coasts. I saw this course as the perfect chance to get to know Boston's coast. I also chose this course because I don't have any experience with field work and would like to hone those skills. I hope to some day be researching by a coast and collecting data for myself and so would like to learn how to do so.
  • Today, the experiment to decide which way the water drains in the northern hemisphere was done in teams of four. In my group, we conducted the experiment twice, once with Professor Berman and the second time without the professor. During the initial experiment, Professor Berman used a folded paper towel to cover the drain hole and filled the sink up about a third full with water. Then the water was drained and we watched for the direction of flow. Three of us in our group, including myself, decided it to be a counter-clockwise movement while one in our group thought that it was a clockwise movement. During the second experiment, one in our group used her hand to block the drain hole and filled the sink up about 3/4 full of water. We then drained the water and watched for the direction of flow. At the end of the drainage, we had all decided it flowed in a counter-clockwise motion. 
    • According to Ascher Shapiro, the direction of flow of draining water in sinks, tubs, and other house hold appliances varies according to many different variables however it is slightly affected by the Coriolis Effect (1962). He was able to conduct a laboratory experiment to confirm that if all other variables are negated, the Coriolis Effect does slightly cause water to flow counter-clockwise in the Northern hemisphere. Then in 1965, a team of researchers in the southern hemisphere conducted the same experiment to find that the water drained and flowed in a clockwise direction (Trefethen et al.) The Coriolis Effect plays an integral part in affecting large-scale motions and deflects currents to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere (Boston University, 2012).This all suggests that there are too many variables, in a common household sink, that influence the direction of water flow and those variables overshadow the minor influence from the Coriolis Effect.

      Boston University. 2012. Marine Biology. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. United States of America.
      Shapiro, Ascher. 1962. Bath-Tub Vortex. NatureVol.196(4859), p.1080.
      Trefethen, L.M., Bilger, R.W., Fink, P.T., Luxton, R.E., Tanner, R.I. 1965. Nature. Vol. 207 (5001), p. 1084.

1 comment:

Bruce Berman said...

Very nice post, but you didn't quite answer the question...

See you soon.


PS. Please label your posts.