MIT Tech TV: Physics Demonstration Videos

MIT Tech TV Physics Demonstration Videos

As an educated non-scientist, one of the problems in learning is that you do not have access to experiments. This is a series of 60 physics demonstration videos  produced by the MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group.

Here is an example: The Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis effect is important to understand because it is a “fictitious” force. It illustrates the concept of non- inertial rotating frames. The video also shows how easily and quickly we can understand complex topics when we see them in action.


“Two demonstrators sit at either end of a rotating platform and toss a ball back and forth. When viewed from the rest frame (when the camera is mounted to the ground), the ball follow a straight line but doesn’t reach its target because during the ball’s flight the target rotates away. When viewed from the rotating frame (when the camera is mounted to the rotating platform), the ball appears to experience a force that pulls it away from the target.”
”This curved trajectory in the rotating frame is known as the “Coriolis Effect”, sometimes called the “Coriolis Force”, though it disappears in the rest frame. The Coriolis Effect can be seen in many situations where rotating frames are encountered, especially meteorology and astronomy. Atmospheric systems, for example, often follow circular patterns due to the Coriolis effect. Airplanes and missiles appear to follow curved trajectories when seen by observers on Earth as the planet rotates underneath.”

The series is available on MIT Tech TV and can be downloaded to watch offline.

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