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Unformatted text preview: 1 Frames of Reference • Newton’s laws of motion are valid in a coordinate system that is fixed in space. • A coordinate system fixed in space is known as an inertial (or absolute ) frame of reference. • A coordinate system that is not fixed in space, such as one defined with respect to the rotating earth, is a noninertial frame of reference. • Because we are interested in atmospheric and oceanic motions from an earth-based perspective, we must formulate the laws of motion in the noninertial frame of reference defined with respect to the rotating earth. Apparent Forces • In an inertial reference frame, a body at rest or in uniform motion has no net forces acting on it. • A body at rest or in uniform motion relative to the rotating earth is not at rest or in uniform motion relative to a coordinate system fixed in space. • To reconcile Newton’s laws with the noninertial reference frame of the rotating earth, two apparent forces must be introduced. • These are the centrifugal force and the Coriolis force. 2 Centrifugal Force • Consider an object that is whirled in a circular motion at the end of string. • In an inertial frame of reference, this object is being accelerated toward the center of the circle....
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2011 for the course ENVSCI 324 taught by Professor Broccoli during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.
- Spring '11