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The English version of our glossary is currently under construction and will be regularly updated.

Coriolis force

Fictitious force in rotating systems that deflects a particle’s motion perpendicular to its initial direction of motion. Does not affect motion in the direction of the rotational axis.

If the particles’ motion is observed in a rotating, i.e., earthbound coordinate system, the result is a lateral shift in the particles from their initial direction of motion – to the right (clockwise) in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left (counter-clockwise) in the Southern Hemisphere. This deflection is due to the Coriolis force, named in honour of the person who discovered it (Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis, 1835). However, it is a fictitious force that only manifests in earthbound coordinate systems; it does not manifest in inertial systems. (source: DWD)