in reply to Re: The parable of the falling droplet
in thread The parable of the falling droplet

If our brave raindrop was an Australian (or any other southern hemisphere) raindrop, does it still hold true. I seem to remember that their water flows the opposite way to ours...

if you're referring to the Coriolis effect -- and it sounds like you are -- the physicist in me feels the need to clear some things up.

you often hear people claiming that bathtubs in the northern hemisphere drain clockwise while bathtups in the southern hemisphere drain counter-clockwise because of the Coriolis effect.

the truth is that while the coriolis effect does exist and can have a significant impact on things like meteorology, its magnitude is far too small to have any practical effect over an area as small as a bathtub. the direction that the water spins as it drains is going to be dominated by the shape of the tub and any residual currents in the water. as a homework assignment for a physics class, i remember having to calculate the maximum residual current that the coriolis effect could overcome for a perfectly smooth, symetric, round bathtub. it was somewhere on the order of one rotation per year.

but of course, everyone knows that the earth is really flat and on the back of a giant turtle, so the whole thing must just be a myth anyway. <grin />

anders pearson