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Earth Hockey II

Keywords: Reference Frames, Relative motion, Rotating Reference Frames, Coriolis Effect, Centrifugal Acceleration, Computer Visualization


Highlights of the activity

  1. This computer visualization activity is designed to help upper division undergraduate students model straight lines on a rotating Earth.
  2. Students use Maple to draw straight lines, i.e. great circles, on the earth, taking the earth's rotation into account.
  3. The entire class wrap-up discussion summarizes group findings, leading to a discussion on geodesics (“straight” lines on a curved surface).

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

  1. Properties of trajectories in rotating reference frames are counterintuitive.
  2. Good followup to previous activity studying animations for particular examples


Instructor's Guide

Maple Worksheet

rfehockey2.mws (Maple 11 Classic)

Mathematica Notebook


Authors: Tevian Dray
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