How does Coriolis deflection work? Shouldn’t projectile motion follow a straight path? If not, then how, when, and why not? Today we grappled with these questions in James’s Atmospheric Dynamics 1 (METR 3113) class by taking advantage of the phenomenal weather on a late-summer day in Norman. The idea: one volunteer moves across the human circle following a straight path (to their perception) while the surrounding people walk out the path of the circle.

The mind-bending insight: to the rotating viewers (akin to people residing on Earth, in the rotating reference frame), the path is curved, while someone standing still in or outside the circle simply sees a straight path. 🤯 🤯

Major shoutouts to 1) Jon Aurnou and the DIYnamics crew for inspiration for this activity at the Earth Educators’ Rendezvous 2023, and 2) OU student Parker Davis for volunteering to take these photos!