Wheels in the Sky: Keep on Turning

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-19
  • Publisher: Textstream

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If you have ever wondered how the universe physically works, then this book focusing on the central role that rotational motion plays in our daily lives will lead you to new discoveries, knowledge, and wisdom. Rotation is found everywhere but often overlooked. There are rotating wheels on cars, wheels that spin in games of chance, Ferris wheels at city carnivals, and other manifestations of rotation that play an essential role in virtually everything we do. Even more important is how everyday phenomena driven by rotation make up life's intrinsic components. Supported by historical information about the lives of individuals who have contributed to the understanding of rotation, this book delves into the physical principles that explain hurricanes, trade winds, gravity measurements, and much more. Rotation continues to play a large role in the world, and it's possible that the universe itself rotates. Take a journey defined by new ideas and little-known facts in Wheels in the Sky, a must read for anyone interested in the origin and workings of the universe.


Who can forget the exhilaration of walking through the rolling barrel at
a carnival or in a modern theme park. Walking straight towards the opening on the other side was a guarantee for falling. Smartly walking against the oncoming rotating wall enabled us to cross. If our footprints were recorded on the inside of the barrel, they would have shown an interesting curved path and not a straight line. What happened with
our path is that in a rotating system the direct path is not necessarily a straight line.
The important discovery of Gaspard Gustave Coriolis in the early 19th century opened up an entirely new understanding of the rotating phenomenon. He proposed the force component of rotating system that now bears his name.
The Coriolis force on the surface of the rotating Earth has far reaching consequences. Consider the atmosphere. It is controlled by a large number of parameters and it is very difficult to predict the motion of air-masses, i.e. The weather. Sometimes it appears totally random, but there is some order in that chaos intriguingly influenced by the Coriolis force.
In the atmosphere, air flows from high pressure areas toward the lower pressure areas, just like heat moves to lower temperatures. Since our atmosphere happens to be on the rotating Earth, it is effected by the Coriolis force. The straight motion from higher to lower pressure areas will be modified by the Coriolis force resulting in the well known hurricane patterns.

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