11+ Coriolis Force Example:Detailed Explanations

The Coriolis force, a fictitious force, comes into action when an object is in motion in the rotating frame of reference. So we are going to discuss Coriolis force examples in this article.

While revolving, the earth’s equator and poles rotate at different speeds. The equator is moving quicker than the poles. The coriolis effect occurs due to this variation in rotational speed. Now, let us consider some coriolis force examples.

➯ Tossing the ball:

Consider that you’re tossing the ball from the north pole to a friend near the equator. Your friend is going quicker than you since he is near the equator. As a result, the ball will deflect to his right. Similarly, if you toss a ball from the equator to the north pole, the ball will land to your friend’s right.

Trade winds: 

You may have noticed that the wind blows in one direction one day and a different direction the next time you go outside. However, not all winds are the same; for example, trade winds have distinct or predictable directions.

The trade winds are air currents that blow from east to west around the equator and are closer to the earth’s surface. These are the winds that sailors have been using to sail their ships for generations.

We already know that coriolis force is activated when something with a high speed moves in a rotating frame of reference. Air is traveling through the revolving earth’s atmosphere. As a result, the air in the Northern Hemisphere bends to the right, whereas the air in the Southern Hemisphere bends to the left. As a result, trade winds in both hemispheres are blowing westward.

➯ Cyclone:

A cyclone is a low-pressure storm in which the center grabs air. The wind is the sole driving force behind the ocean’s current direction. And the direction of the wind is decided by the coriolis force. Thus, the movement of ocean currents, as well as cyclones, is determined by the coriolis force.

The spiraling pattern of the ocean currents is determined by air deflection generated by the coriolis effect in high pressure areas. The spinning of the ocean current or cyclone is strengthened by stronger winds.

Air blows in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere under a high-pressure system. It rotates in the opposite direction when the pressure is low. The ocean current swirls in sync with the wind.

➯ Flying Birds:

The air flow guided by coriolis force would undoubtedly affect birds, particularly migrating birds, who spend the majority of their time in the air. Migrant birds will experience the same coriolis force as aircraft.

➯ Air craft:

The aircraft is affected by the Coriolis force indirectly. Different forces are experienced by aircraft traveling at high altitudes in the Earth’s atmosphere. To continue on its planned route, the aircraft must modify to offset all of these forces, including the coriolis force.

Coriolis force slightly pushes the plane to the left of its path in the south of the equator, whereas it pushes the plane to the right in the north of the equator. As a result, aircraft used to slightly bank in the other direction to overcome this force.

➯ Bullet Trajectory:

The Earth is continually moving. However, we don’t see it because of our vast diameter. This is critical when firing at extraordinarily long ranges. If you alter your aim, then there are higher chances that you will hit the target.

The changes needed in each hemisphere are different. If you aim North or South of the target in the Northern Hemisphere, you will most likely hit it on the right side. Shooting in the Southern Hemisphere in either direction (North or South) will hit the left. Shooting East will result in a high hit, whereas shooting West will result in a low hit.

➯ Merry-go-round:

Throwing a ball on a steady merry-go-round is quite simple. However, if you throw the ball toward your friend while riding on the merry-go-round, the ball will not reach your friend. The ball will follow the curved path to the right. The presence of the coriolis force allows this to happen.

➯ Rocket Launching:

Consider launching a rocket into the rotating earth. We are observers on the same spinning sphere known as the earth. Now, do you think the rocket will move in a straight path, or will it curve? Yes, your prediction is correct; it will curve. 

Because the rocket is traveling in a rotating frame of reference, i.e., the earth, we must consider the effect of coriolis force. That is why, in order to avoid causing damage to society, rocket launching locations are located near the sea.

➯ Jupiter Belts:

Jupiter is our solar system’s fastest moving planet. North-south winds transformed to east-west winds due to Jupiter’s Coriolis effect, with some reaching speeds of about 380 miles per hour. Winds that blow primarily east and west generate visible horizontal divisions in the planet’s clouds, which are referred to as belts. Storms are active along the edges of these fast-moving belts.

➯ Molecular Physics:

The motion of polyatomic molecules can be characterized by rigid body rotation and internal atom vibration. Because of Coriolis effects, atoms in the molecule will move perpendicular to the original oscillations. This causes the rotational and vibrational levels of molecule spectra to mix.

➯ Coriolis flow meter:

The mass flow meter is considered as a practical example of the Coriolis effect. The operational mechanism involves producing vibration in the tube through which the fluid flows. The vibrations offer a rotating reference frame for determining the fluid density and mass flow in a mass flow meter device.


The presence of the coriolis force can be seen when there is movement in the rotational frame of reference. The Coriolis force is visible everywhere around us. It has an impact on weather patterns and human activities, as we have seen in examples.

We hope that the examples we provided helped you to understand the coriolis force.

Alpa P. Rajai

I am Alpa Rajai, Completed my Masters in science with specialization in Physics. I am very enthusiastic about Writing about my understanding towards Advanced science. I assure that my words and methods will help readers to understand their doubts and clear what they are looking for. Apart from Physics, I am a trained Kathak Dancer and also I write my feeling in the form of poetry sometimes. I keep on updating myself in Physics and whatever I understand I simplify the same and keep it straight to the point so that it deliver clearly to the readers. You can also reach me at : https://www.linkedin.com/in/alpa-rajai-858077202/

Recent Posts