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Pulling power

Letters

The Coriolis effect is a well known dynamic phenomenon due to the rotation of the Earth which produces the anticlockwise rotation of a weather depression in the northern hemisphere, but clockwise south of the equator.

A missile aimed exactly geographically north at the Greenwich Dome from the equator at the point of zero longitude will tend to vere to the right. By the time it gets to the latitude of Greenwich it would regrettably miss the Dome and land somewhere in mid-Europe.

Applying the same principle to a fast moving train travelling exactly due geographical north in the northern hemishpere, the mass of the train would also tend to vere to the right, producing greater wear on the right-hand rail, thus requiring greater maintenance and more frequent replacement of the east-side rail.

Similarly, 'down under' where the tendency would be to vere to the left, it would be the left-hand rail which would suffer greater wear.

Presumably it is for the same reason that expert northern hemisphere golfers, accustomed to allowing for the slight vere of the ball to the right, would have great difficult in winning tournaments south of the equator where the opposite happens.

Colin Davies (F), 59 Heath Road, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 1LR

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