12.003 | Fall 2008 | Undergraduate
Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics
Labs

Measuring the Rotation Rate of the Table

The rotation rate of our table can be quoted in various units. The following are often used - period, revolutions per minute, or units of ‘f’, as described below:

  1. The angular velocity of the tank, Ω , in radians per second

  2. The Coriolis parameter (f) defined as f = 2Ω

  3. The period of one revolution of the tank, τ, in seconds is τ = 2π/Ω

  4. Revolutions per minute, rpm = 60/τ

Conversion table

 Ω (rad/s) 0 0.25 0.5 1 1.5 2

f=2Ω(rad/s)

0 0.5 1 2 3 4
τ(s) 8π = 25. 1 4π = 12. 6 2π = 6. 3 4π/3 = 4. 2 π = 3.14
rpm 0 2. 4 4. 7 9.5 14.3 19.1

Note that on the ‘big’ table pictured above, the digital readout is the rotation rate in `milli-f’: thus 1000 is a rotation rate of 1× f: the period of rotation is thus 12.6 s.

Course Info
As Taught In
Fall 2008
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