# Coriolis, Gaspard-Gustave

April 7, 2010, 6:47 pm

September 21, 2010, 10:26 pm

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Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis (1792-1843) was a French mathematician and physicist who discovered the Coriolis effect (also known as the Coriolis force) in 1835 that governs the movements of winds in the atmosphere and currents in the ocean. Coriolis showed that the laws of motion could be used in a rotating frame of reference if an extra force, called the Coriolis acceleration, is added to the equations of motion. The theorem enunciated by Coriolis regarding relative motions has found numerous applications, particularly in the case of motion on the surface of the Earth (e.g., the deviation toward the east of falling bodies, the apparent rotation of the plane of vibration of a Foucault pendulum, etc.). As a Professor of mechanics at several French universities, Coriolis was the first to derive formulas expressing kinetic energy and mechanical work. He established the use of the word 'work' as a technical term in mechanics, defining it in terms of the displacement of force through a certain distance.

**Further Reading**

- Persson, Anders. How Do We Understand the Coriolis Effect? European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom, 13 pp.
- University of St. Andrews, Scotland, School of Mathematics and Physics. Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis - Biography.

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