Framework for Electronic Enhancement of Laboratories

The Coriolis Effect

Background Information:

The Physics:

The Coriolis effect is one of the most complex concepts to convey to introductory physics students. It is a phantom force that appears to alter the path of an object in juxtaposition on another spinning frame of reference. A plane flying south from the North Pole would appear to be deflected to the right (or westward) because of the Coriolis effect.

Traditional Learning Methods:

Like various other physics concepts, the Coriolis effect is a hard concept to grasp from 2D static illustrations, and demonstrations that teach the effect across all of its parameters are not main-streamed. By simulating this effect using a visuo-haptic platform, students can experience the changes that various components of the Coriolis effect have on object trajectories.


When developing visuo-haptic simulators, we look for concepts that involve forces in order to present them from a novel perspective. We chose the Coriolis effect since we observed that students have difficulty applying the theoretical concepts to problems. The Coriolis effect can be well represented in an X3D environment, and can improve students understanding of the concept.

Related Resources:

F. G. Hamza-Lup and F. A. Kocadag (2013) "Simulating Forces. Learning Through Touch, Virtual Laboratories" International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning, 26 February - 1 March, Nice, France, pp 55-58. [PDF]