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Earth Hockey II: Instructor's Guide

Main Ideas

Visually explore the effects of Coriolis and centrifugal acceleration.

Students' Task

Estimated Time: 45–60 minutes

Work through the Maple worksheet:

  • Make sure you understand the default pictures.
  • Try your own initial configurations. Compare different values of the angular velocity (including negative).
  • Try to produce a boomerang, that is a configuration which returns to its

initial position as seen by the rotating observer.

  • Try to mimic the animation you worked on earlier.

Prerequisite Knowledge


Activity: Student Conversations

  • Students may be confused about the role of the various parameters.
  • Students may need to change the viewpoint of their Maple animation in order to obtain a picture which looks like their example from the previous activity.

Activity: Wrap-up

  • Have students discuss their attempts to model boomerangs (and possibly loops and right angles).
  • Ask students to share their constructed model, and to discuss why it was chosen.


  • Are there trajectories with multiple loops?
  • Are there trajectories which loop forever?

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