Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Which way does the water go?

I’ve just had my first question from one of my blog readers.  Was it about the new restoration provisions for lapsed design patents?  Was it about New Zealand’s status on Madrid Protocol accession?  Did it involve the latest on inventor ownership of inventions?

Nope.

Which way does the water circle when you flush the toilet in the southern hemisphere.

Yup.

What the reader is getting at is how much effect does the rotation of the Earth have on the outflow of water through a central aperture.  If a vortex appears, does it rotate in a clockwise or an anti-clockwise direction?  There is a perception that water rotates in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.

Well, I think I’ve just found my personal boundaries for this blog.  I didn’t try the toilet but did manage to fill a funnel with water.  I got it spinning clockwise then anti-clockwise as you can see in the embedded movie.  The black floaty bits are cloves.

video

So presumably the water volume is too small to be affected in a meaningful way by rotation of the Earth.

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