User talk:William M. Connolley/Old Talk 7

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sun dog

I have sun dog on my watchlist and noted your edit to it; right now it's a duplicate of information on halo (optical phenomenon), as this and the sun pillar page were merged by somebody into halo (optical phenomenon) a while back. You might want to merge what you posted into the halo page. Neurophyre 00:27, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 08:18, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Hmmm... don't know. You're right, halo covers the same stuff... should it? Probably...
(Neurophyre 20:06, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)) I'm not entirely convinced, actually, because of the many types of halos. If people start adding more, the page is going to get unwieldy and huge, and it would be better to have a general description and then wikilinks to all the ones that exist perhaps. To further add to it, there is already something like this at optical phenomenon. I guess what I'd do for now is merge what you wrote in sun dog into halo (optical phenomenon) so that there's not duplicate info, and then later on down the road split the different types of halos off onto their own pages with halo (optical phenomenon) becoming a general description and a bunch of wikilinks like optical phenomenon is now. I'd be willing to work on that once I get some spare time, and NOAA has some nice public domain halo images. We could post a note on the halo (optical phenomenon) talk page, too, and/or on the talk page of the guy who did the merging of sun dog and sun pillar.
(William M. Connolley 20:30, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Yes... well sundog/pillar/halo etc are all manifestations of the same phenomena so sort of belong together... OTOH around here you only ever see sun dogs (very very rarely weak pillars).
(Neurophyre 22:05, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)) Why don't you merge it then and I'll put a note on the talk page for halo (optical phenomenon) and fix the wikilinks on optical phenomenon. Also the text on sun dog could be more obvious that there is further information, like "A sun dog is an optical phenomenon in which colored bands of light appear to either side of the sun at an angle of 22 degrees. For more information, see halo (optical phenomenon)."  :-) And as for me, I've seen sun pillars several times while living in North Dakota, but never a sun dog that I can remember.

Runge phenomenon

I think the edits you did on Runge's phenomenon made it wrong, but I can't proof it. For a general continuous function the polynomial error does increase when increasing the degree of the interpolating polynomial, even when using Chebyshev nodes.MathMartin 21:26, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:34, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)) I'm relying on Chebyshev polynomials. That says that Cheb poly produce the best approx to a function under the maximum norm. Since (clearly) a Cheb poly of order n is a special case of order n+1 with the leading coeff zero, then n+1 th can't be worse than the nth if that article is correct (which I think it is).

I wrote most of the Chebyshev polynomials article, especially the part you quoted. So in effect you are saying I am schizophrenic :). We do not approximate the function with the Chebyshev polynomial. We just use the roots of the Chebyshev polynomial as interpolation nodes. Check out Chebyshev nodes for a more verbose explanation (also written be me).MathMartin 22:05, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Err, well, if a chebyshev poly would be better, then use that.

Contrails and Sept 11

Article in Nature, August 8, 2002. Fred Bauder 21:23, Oct 2, 2004 (UTC)


Hi, William! I will have a look at it again, although probably won't have time for a little while. My "to do" list is getting out of control 8^(. Securiger 01:40, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm really not into getting involved again with all of that. GeneralPatton 21:29, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Ferrel cell

"In the atmospheric circulation article, as in almost all textbook illustrations (with the exception of Laing, Fig. 145, p. 370 and Fig. 14.7, p. 373), a Ferrel cell is shown turning between equatorial Hadley cells" says the author of this article. Seems to me rather ludicrous to state that one knows better than all the major textbook editors save one. This article also reeks of POV. You would do a considerable service in rewriting it. Denni 21:38, 2004 Oct 31 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:01, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)) By bizarre co-incidence, I began re-writing this yesterday and then scrubbed it. I do still intend to, though - this only just scraped through VFD with my help, so I feel responsible. Thanks for the reminder.

Bell Test Loopholes

I was happy to see that you may also have sane attitude to some things, such as the weird page about Bell test loopholes. ;-) --Lumidek 16:27, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:35, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)) Yes, though I've sort of given up on that, due to lack of specialist knowledge. You might possibly glance at the gravity page too, where I suspect weirdness, without being able to properly refute it.
Hi William, I look at "gravity" - it's pretty long and relatively elementary, but the weirdness was not too obvious. Could you please be more specific what's wrong with that page? Thanks, Lubos --Lumidek 18:50, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:43, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)) Perhaps I was right not to get too critical then. To my understanding, sections 2.1,.2,.3 appeared dubious... e.g. Einsteinian gravitation is not exactly like Newtonian. Only the time dilation portion of it is.. And curvatures of spacetime are split into two components: curvature of space; time dilation. But I'm not a physicist: perhaps those bits do seem reasonable if you know more.
Hi William, these are certainly strangely sounding formulations and physicists would not use this language - but I sort of know what are the actual facts that the authors wanted to describe. It looks like bad terminology, but it would be too time-consuming to fine-tune all these details.
(William M. Connolley 21:48, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)) OK, I suspected that it was something like than.
Concerning these particular details: what they mean is that in Newton's gravity, there is just one "gravitational potential" at every point - one number. If you work with general relativity, there are many numbers at each point - time can be "more dense", space can be "stretched" in some directions, and so on. In the limit where general relativity reduces to Newtonian gravity, it's only the "warping" of the time dimension that plays a role. But if you consider very strong gravitational fields, it's not the whole story. You can't describe general relativity just by modifying the formula for the gravitational potential - there are many components of the metric tensor that describe the "gravitational field" in general relativity, which is also the other comment what they wrote: both time AND space can be curved in GR, while only the warping of time is what gives rise to Newton's equations in the limit. ... Later, I tried to modify the first paragraph you mentioned. --Lumidek 19:52, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:48, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)) Thanks. That looks more like what makes sense to me than the previous version.

William, I was kind of aware; but I'm just using a quick label to quickly categorise a number of reports at the same time. I'm trying to create and clean up "category:Sources" and while doing that I will make some mistakes. I will clean up later. :ChrisG 23:05, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Vandals - pilaging and plundering :-)

Hi - now we have something else in common, we've both been called vandals by JG re:consensus science. Kind of late, but I apologize for my hotheaded vandalism charge way back when. -Vsmith 15:28, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:39, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Thanks, but you're long forgiven for that... looking back it seems such a trivial matter, compared with the more recent troubles.


Please sign&date all postings on WP:AN and its various sub-boards; this posting by you didn't have one. (And if you could follow the usual style on Wikipedia, and add same at the bottom, so it doesn't throw us all for a loop reading it, that would be even better! :-). Noel (talk) 00:42, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)


IPCC's coverage of the topic is not a suitable resource for wiki

(note: this comment was on SEW's talk page. He clearly found it too embarassing to leave there. I am disappointed by SEW in this William M. Connolley 21:15, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)).

(Are you practicing psychology or mind reading? Keep trying. (SEWilco 18:03, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)))

(William M. Connolley 20:10, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)) SEWilco: You removed the IPCC stuff from GW with the edit comment IPCC's coverage of the topic is not a suitable resource for wiki. These pages suffer enough edit wars without needing silly jokes. Please don't do this.

A sea level expert thinks that of the IPCC coverage of sea level rise. But you know that, as that is the same comment you made of about his coverage of his field. (SEWilco 20:24, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC))
(William M. Connolley 20:27, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Please stop the silly jokes, if you want to be taken seriously. The IPCCs work is clearly suitable for wiki; removing it amounts to vandalism. Morner is not even close to the same category: he is an isolated individual who attempts to gain authority via association with INQUA.
The Morner discussion is in sea level rise and Talk. You're an expert in sea level influences? Maybe you should provide your expert details over there so we can better judge your evaluation of what is a suitable resource. (SEWilco 18:03, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC))
(William M. Connolley 18:17, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I certainly seem to know rather more about it than Morner.
Well INQUA did not elect for YOU to run their 111 member commission on sea level change, they chose Morner. So perhaps a larger body of scientists trusts his expertise over yours. Cortonin | Talk 19:17, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:30, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)) You seem to be rather naive about the way such things work, which casts doubt on your claims to be a scientist.

A GFDL First?

Is that the first RealClimate post with a GFDL tag at the bottom? Dragons flight 20:54, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 20:57, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Yes. I consider all my posts there to be GFDL, but the posts themselves don't say so. Using your picture has lead to a little internal debate about whether the whole site should become GFDL. BTW - I sent you a wiki-mail about that pic - did you get it? I would have credited you (DF) specifically, but your user page is still blank...
No, I did not get the wiki-mail, though a test mail I just sent to myself went through without any problem. Dragons flight 21:07, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 21:14, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Hmm, odd, I must have done something wrong. Its redundant now. Anyhow, I can still change it to credit you, if you like, though if (as it seems) you are a professional who would rather remain anonymous, I won't :-)
With regards to your post on RealClimate, I would prefer to remain anonymous. I may yet add personally identifying information to my wiki profile, but for the moment I am just as happy to be judged only on the quality of my contributions without any of the baggage that comes with credentials and associations.
(William M. Connolley 22:31, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) OK.
I wonder, does it make your activities here easier or harder to be widely regarded as a member of the climate establishment? Dragons flight 22:16, Feb 15, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:31, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)) I don't think it helps. Amongst the unthinking, there is a reverse argument-from-authority mentality.

3RR again

I've filed another report on Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/3RR about JGs behavior on Greenhouse gas. Thought you might like to add a comment. Thanks Vsmith 00:30, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That was fast. Blocked w/in 5 minutes of my report! Vsmith 00:38, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 15:39, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Good work. It was a peaceful weekend without him, now I guess we get at least 24h more peace, perhaps longer if he is prepared to learn sense.

And again - just filed yet another report due to his current round of unannounced reverts. Vsmith 16:52, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 17:37, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Thanks. I'll look. Re JG: I'm starting a civility campaign: see Talk:Medieval Warm Period at the end.

(William M. Connolley 20:16, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Note: I've posted a request for an opinion as to RFA at Wikipedia:AMA_Requests_for_Assistance#User:JonGwynne_vs._User:William_M._Connolley

WP:AN again

Second request: when posting anything on WP:AN or any of its sub-boards, such as WP:AN/3RR, please sign your edits. Also, please be careful when you edit; this edit removed two other users' comments. (I like to go into the history and do a diff to make sure your edit did what I thought it did.) Noel (talk) 13:02, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 19:53, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Hmmm, sorry about that. I can't explain the removal of the two edits - it certainly wasn't deliberate and I have no idea how I could have done it accidentally. Apologies also for the signature.

3RR again

User:JonGwynne has been blocked for 24 hours again (for the fourth time?!), see WP:3RR. BTW thanks for all your good work on the articles :-) -- mkrohn 02:15, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 10:20, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for this. You'll have seen the RFA I've filed, I hope. If that is accepted by the arbitrators, I hope you will consider commenting on it.
Sure. Where is the best place to make a comment? On the discussion page?! best regards -- mkrohn 11:28, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 11:39, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)) The next section down provides a link to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne/Evidence. I guess that is for specific "evidence", and if you wanted to contribute there, that would be good. If you would like to submit a comment, it looks like you can add a section to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne, perhaps "comments in support of WMC".

Arbitration Committee case opening

The case against JonGwynne has been accepted. Please bring evidence to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/JonGwynne/Evidence. Thank you. -- Grunt [[European Union|User:Grunt/euflag]] 01:33, 2005 Feb 21 (UTC)

Geography of Australia


I know this is your area, so I thought you might want to take a quick look at Geography of Australia. There's a paragraph about a recent study of the origins of Australia's desert. I don't know if the conclusions of this study are described accurately, maybe you should look over the article. Thanks, Rhobite 05:23, Feb 23, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:47, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Australia my area? Ah, you mean climate my area... I guess you mean A 2005 study by Australian and American researchers found that the desert interior was created by settlers who arrived about 50,000 years ago and set fire to the land, deterring the effects of monsoons. The findings were published in the journal Geology.. I can't claim specific expertise in this, but my impression was that the interior desert was a consequence mostly of geography and the large-scale atmospheric circulation. There may have been some human component but implying the entire interior desert was human-caused seems wrong. Also a proper reference should have been supplied not just a journal and year. Ah... I see you've found the ref. OK, the abstract; ..Northern Hemisphere insolation control on the intensity of the Siberian High, rather than summer insolation over the Australian continent, determines the strength of the Australian Monsoon on millennial time scales, unlike a classic monsoon regime. This bit, to me, says that non-local influences are affecting the "monsoon". ...Additional simulations show that the penetration of monsoon moisture into the interior is sensitive to biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks linked to vegetation type and soil properties. This sensitivity offers a resolution to the observed failure of the Australian Monsoon to penetrate the interior in the Holocene. Postulated regular burning practiced by early humans may have converted a tree-shrub-grassland mosaic across the semiarid zone to the modern desert scrub, thereby weakening biospheric feedbacks and resulting in long-term desertification of the continent. This conclusion is tentative not definite. Also... I don't know about the history of the vegetation in the interior. This abs gives the impression that its known that tree-shrub-grass gave way to desert, and that they are seeking explanations for this. I've edited the para to weaken it a bit more.
Thanks for fixing it up. People often overstate the importance of journal articles, so I wondered if that was the case here. Guess so. Rhobite 00:11, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)

General relativity and rotation

Hi William,

I found some material that I think will be of interest to you. Einstein's explorations to finding the equations of general relativity were strongly guided by what Einstein called Mach's principle. A phyisics that implements Mach's principle is a physics in which all inertia is described as due to interaction with all of the other matter in the universe. Newton had felt compelled to assume absolute space. This absolute space acts on objects but is not acted upon.

Relativistic space-time geometry acts upon matter and is acted upon by matter. Einstein was eager to formulate a theory that would be axiomatically based on Mach's principle. The manifestations of inertia, including centrifugal force and coriolis force, are then seen as due to interaction with all of the matter in all of the universe, mediated by space-time geometry.

In 1916 correspondence between Einstein and the dutch astronomer De Sitter began, regarding a solution to the equations of general relativity that De Sitter had obtained. This solution, De Sitter space, is a universe without any matter in it, and with a G-field that determines the inertial properties of matter. If the equations of general relativity would be axiomatically based on Mach's principle, then such a solution would not exist.

After additional correspondence with Weyl and Klein, Einstein agreed that De Sitters solution is mathametically valid.

Later the explorations of Thirring into solutions of the equations for the inside of a rotating shell led Weyl to the conclusion that rotation is always assymmetric in general relativity. That is: Weyl (from early on a supporter of general relativity) concluded that in the case of rotation general relativity needs to assume absolute space. However, not exactly the absolute space of Newton. Uniform motion is fundamentally relative. The inertial reference frames form a symmetry group, and acceleration is seen as absolute with respect to that symmetry group, not with respect to newtonian absolute space. This, to my knowledge, is currently the most widely accepted view of general relativity.

During the period of roughly 1912 to 1920 Einstein changed his mind several times as to what the foundations of general relativity are. Clearly, it is very hard to fathom the logical foundations of general relativity. --Cleon Teunissen 12:40, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)


  • The Einstein-De Sitter debate A 146 Kb PDF-document
  • Michael Janssen Author of the Einsteinn-De Sitter debate
  • [] Der Einstein de Sitter Kontroverse. A 1.5 Mb book with an 11-page foreword in english by David E. Rowe. PDF-document.

Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler

Hi William,

I found additional material in Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler, 1973.
Chapter 6, page 165, box 6.2 accelerated observers in brief. In this context, 'accelerated observer' refers to observers who are not in free motion, observers who are in non-inertial motion. --Cleon Teunissen 11:54, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

An accelerated observer can carry clocks and measuring rods with him, and can use them to set up a reference frame (coordinate system) in his neighbourhood.
His atomic clocks will show the same rate of time as unaccelerated clocks moving momentarily with him. His rods will measure the same length as momentarily comoving, unaccelerated rods do.
Let the observer's coordinate system be a cartesian latticework of rods and clocks, with the origin of the lattice always on his world line. He must keep his latticework small.
To deduce the results of experiments and observations performed by an accelerated observer, one can analyze them in coordinate-independent, geometric terms, an then project the result onto the basis vectors of his accelerated frame. Alternatively, one can analyze the experiments and observations in a Lorentz frame, and then transform to the accelerated frame.
As deduced in this manner, the results of experiments performed locally [...] by an accelerated observer differ from the results of the same experiments performed in a Lorentz frame in only three ways.
  1. There are complicated fractional differences that can be made negligable by making the accelerated frame small enough.
  2. There are Coriolis forces of precisely the same type as are encountered in Newtonian theory. These the observer can avoid by ensuring carefully that his latticework does not rotate with respect to the gyro-axis of gyroscopes that he accelerates with himself by means of forces applied to their centers of mass (no torque!). Such a nonrotating latticework has "Fermi-Walker" transported basis vectors.
  3. There are inertial forces of precisely the same type as are encountered in Newtonian theory. These are due to the observers acceleration, and he cannot get rid of them except by stopping his accelerating.

--Cleon Teunissen 11:54, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC) I assume that the interpretation of general relativity of this 1200-page book represents the scientific consensus among knowledgable physicists. Gravity is viewed completely different in the two theories, but Coriolis manifestation of inertia is precisely the same type of phenomenon in the two theories. Coordinate transform does not stop inertia from manifesting itself, coordinate transform does not change the physics that is going on. The only way to stop manifestation of inertia is to fysically stop accelerating. --Cleon Teunissen 11:54, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sock puppet

please see my request User talk:172. Also I hope to finish my Arb comment until tomorrow. -- mkrohn 22:30, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Just a note that I filed a 3RR on SN and noted the socks [1]. In case you're interested. -Vsmith 16:01, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 19:57, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for telling me. Sadly its been rejected :-(. Doesn't look like the discussion on the talk page is too useful :-(
Perhaps an RfC on the sockpuppet concerned would be appropriate. Alai 21:07, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:40, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Some sort of request-for-review-of-admin-action on 172 would be more appropriate I think, but I don't know where to do it :-(

Inadvertent delete of 172's protection notice?

You deleted 172s protection notice on the Global warming talk: page. I assume it was inadvertent? If so, hopefully you can add it back without losing the subsequent edits.--Silverback 13:20, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 14:58, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)) Oops. Not intentional (though I thought the protect was unhelpful).

Carbon dioxide

I've asked a question on the talk page. - Ta bu shi da yu 06:01, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Courtesy Department

15:45, Mar 3, 2005, Ed Poor blocked William M. Connolley (expires 16:45, Mar 3, 2005) (contribs) (unblock) (impolite talk page remark)

Re: :Image:Dscn5389-stw-marching-banners 600x800.jpg

Hi William,

Your image has been tagged with GFDL as part of the untagged images project and in accordance to the project's guidelines. It states that If it is obvious from comments or a copyright statement that the uploader owns the copyright to an image, then by virtue of them having uploaded it to the Wikipedia, you can assume it is GFDL.

If you like, do join me in helping out that this project and tag other's images. :) - Mailer Diablo 15:20, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:30, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Hmmm... OK!
(William M. Connolley 15:35, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) But note the suggested text lower down by Quadell: I think it would be better for you to do that.
Noted, thanks. :) - Mailer Diablo 17:13, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Temperature Images

I have been slowly compiling a variety temperature plots (because I am absurd and already have most of this data on tap). Since you liked the 1000 year plot so much, I thought I would point out these images in case you are interested: User:Dragons flight/Images. I will probably add a few more in coming weeks covering intermediate time scales (ie. between 2 kyr and 500 Myr).

Dragons flight 21:58, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:10, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for telling me - they are excellent pictures (I am slightly curious what you make them with - I use IDL, and excellent computing environment but I struggle to make beautiful pics with it). A plot covering the Holocene (to fit in with the HCO article perhaps) would be my next request, if you are doing them in order/to order :-)
I do most of my composing in Matlab with touch up in Adobe Illustrator. I'm not sure Matlab would qualify as easy to use to make pretty pictures, but I have been using it for a long time and have gotten quite adept at it. As far as the HCO, I can pretty much assure you that something on the Holocene scale won't be the next one, because that's one interval where I don't have particularly good data at hand. After 2kyr, the next longest time scale I can do without having to look up new data is ice ages. Dragons flight 22:48, Mar 5, 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:03, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)) OK. As for Matlab... ah yes... we have occaisional matlab/idl wars.

WMC, After a couple weeks, I finally got around to compiling a figure of temperature variations during the Holocene. You are going to want to look at this: Image:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png. It shows reasonably stable climate during the Holocene and what would appear to be a mild Holocene climatic optimum. It also places modern temperatures as strikingly high compared to other times during the Holocene. Dragons flight 22:14, Mar 21, 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 23:20, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Aha! Interesting picture. May take me a while to digest - thanks for doing it, and for drawing it to my attention.


I requested the protect to avoid our having to go back and reverting the article again everyday. It was done to discourage the vandal, who erased the entire article at one point. I realise the war could be worse, but let's not take it there. Hopefully the vandal will head for discussion instead and then we should be able to remove the protect. -- Urnonav 11:45, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee ruling

The Arbitration Committee has ruled on the case against JonGwynne. Please see the final decision for details. -- Grunt [[European Union|User:Grunt/euflag]] 16:02, 2005 Mar 6 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 19:45, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for the notification. I am pleased with the decision.
I added your comment perhaps unnecessarily, on the evidence page, in my attempt to document the protection abuse by 172.[2] --Silverback 10:49, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

CMIP link

Hi - I've been cruising around (learning stuff :-) and found the CMIP links on Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project and Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project don't lead where I would expect (Common management interface protocol). Don't find a Climate or Coupled Model Intercomparison Project article w/search. Thought you might want to check it out. AMIP leads to a disambig. page also. Vsmith 03:06, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Fix my typo AIMP --> AMIP above and I fixed the links to bypass the AMIP acronym disambig page in the two linking articles. Vsmith 04:00, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:39, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Oops - when I made the CMIP link I just checked it was blue, not what it lead to. Fixed now. Thanks for letting me know.


I have been coming across the "your" pages, one by one, and I must commend your patience and persistence in dealing anti-GW POV pushers. Based on my own experience with lay-people challenging me in my own speciality, I know how difficult it is to argue against fringe views being asserted as mainstream, as being of equal validity with peer-reviewed science. Keep up the good work. Guettarda 17:22, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 18:22, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thats very kind of you and I do appreciate it. Thank you.

Solar variation theory

In case you hadn't seen this recent Atlastawake addition Solar variation theory. I've put a merge tag at the top to Solar variation. Vsmith 02:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:39, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thanks, I wouldn't have noticed. Cutting the material out of GW seems sensible (only he didn't do that; I have now); merge with SV also.
Actually you made it worse by putting in the rather long explanation of greenhouse gases...I actually did make it shorter.--Atlastawake 03:03, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 23:12, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Errr... could you be a bit more explicit? I don't know what you mean.

Bring back quickpolls

I think it's time that quickpolls be re-evaluated as a solution to short term disputes between users. What say you? --Ryan! | Talk 05:09, Mar 11, 2005 (UTC)


Noone should be submitting new RFCs while this is going on. The banner I made was to the point, the one you reverted to is... ambigious. Please reinstate my banner to make it very clear. -- Netoholic @ 22:36, 2005 Mar 11 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:42, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I think I've made my view fairly clear on the talk page. I also think you are being too intense over this. The idea that no-one should be submitting RFCs in the meantime makes no sense to me.

Ferrel cell redux

Thanks for cleaning up the Ferrel cell article. It is no longer a grossly POV essay, and even though it's pretty stubby, it's still a clear improvement. No, I don't think you should have voted for deletion - whether or not there is actually a Ferrel cell (and there is nothing like a clear consensus), the term is in use and should be recognised. Denni 22:24, 2005 Mar 14 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 00:06, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)) You're welcome. Sometime I must get round to fleshing it out but there is so much else to do...

Coriolis force

Hi William,
The following article by the meteorologist Anders Persson was very informative to me. The article was publisched in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
External link: Article by Anders Persson. PDF-file
A quotation from that article:

Lorenz (1967, 29, 65) has commented on a frequent tendency among meteorologists to assume that the wind field is somehow produced by the height field in a simple one-way process and to overlook that they determine one another through mutual effects. The common textbook discussion relates to the acceleration of a (subgeostrophic) wind into a confluent isobaric field. Rarely discussed is what happens in a diffluent isobaric field: the pressure gradient force weakens and the (supergeostrophic) wind is deflected toward higher pressure by the Coriolis force. The mutual wind and pressure adjustment is a consequence of the mass and energy transport across the isobars (Uccellini and Johnson 1979; Uccellini 1990, 125).

From this I gather that on occasion wind velocity is higher than necessary for dynamic equilibrium with the pressure gradient and the Coriolis force will move the air mass against the direction of the pressure gradient. Anders Persson compares that to an orbiting planet on its way from its point of closest approach to the Sun to its point of farthest distance; in that part of its trajectory there is a component in the velocity of the planet that is directed away from the Sun, a motion against the pull of gravity; the potential energy of the planet increases in the process. In the part of the orbit where the planet's potential energy is increasing the centrifugal force is doing work.

According to Anders Persson there are transient occurences of air moving up the pressure gradient, if the Coriolis force is stronger than the pressure gradient force; kinetic energy is then converted to potential energy.

Part of the meteorology of the coriolis force, states Anders Persson, is that under certain circumstances the coriolis force is doing work, converting kinetic energy to potential energy.

I have seen oodles of internet sites claiming that the coriolis force cannot do work. As it turns out that is incorrect, the Coriolis force is often doing work (notable exeption: inertial wind; in the case of inertial wind the Coriolis force is not doing work.)

When there is uniform circular motion, then the symmetry usually precludes work being done. 'No work being done' is a property of uniform circular motion, not a property of Coriolis force. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 18:59, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 19:45, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Anders also wrote an interesting series in the journal Weather about a year ago. I am surprised to hear what you say about work: since the coriolis force is always perpendicular to the velocity, I would have said that was impossible. Looking at the PDF, I find "It also helps to clarify the relation between angular momentum and rotational kinetic energy and how an inertial force can have a significant affect on the movement of a body and still without doing any work." and "Since the Coriolis force is always directed perpendicular to the movement of a body, it can only change its direction, not its speed and kinetic energy: it does no work." and "Turbulent and frictional dissipations are important sinks for kinetic energy in the boundary layer but not in the free atmosphere where most of the kinetic energy is converted back to potential energy. Work is done, but not by the Coriolis force, as stated, for example, by Starr (1969, 198, 256), but by the pressure gradient force, doing negative work.". Where do you find him saying that the Coriolis force can so work?
Of course, the overall picture is that the pressure gradient is the reservoir of energy. In a perspective where the the total energy balance sheet of the planet is considered, the contributions of coriolis force must all cancel, and they do. However, the fact that overall the contributions of coriolis force cancel does not mean coriolis force never does any work, there are transient occurences of work being done and getting undone. So a statement of 'work is being done' is dependent on the size scale and the time scale of the perspective, and maybe I should have added that caveat right away.
Thought experiment: on a rotating ellipsoid, its shape in accordance with the rotation rate, no atmosphere, frictionless surface. What force is necessary to maintain a motion with constant velocity and that is straight with respect to the local surface (a geodesic on that surface)? Like in the rotating mercury mirror situation, the force necessary to maintain motion along such a straight line is not perpendicular to the direction of motion. Conclusion, the coriolis force is not always perpendicular to the velocity, it is only perpendicular in the case of uniform circular motion. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 20:34, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 20:51, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) No, sorry, this won't do! If you want to cite AP for Coriolis does work (even instantaneously) you need a clear an unambiguous cite. Conclusion, the coriolis force is not always perpendicular to the velocity... no, this is quite wrong: coriolis is V cross Omega, always, AFAIK.
Well, look at the mathematics of how the direction and magnitude of the coriolis force are ususally derived. That derivation uses projection. Projection is a zero-interaction, zero pressure gradient scenario. That means you can really only assume that this derivation is valid in the case of inertial wind, that is the physics-equivalent of usual mathematical derivation. (and I've seen that the derivation is beautifully valid in the case of inertial wind.) In the case of the rotating mercury mirror model in the coriolis effect article, the derivation of the necessary force for uniform motion with respect to the rotating frame is simple and its formula is different from the coriolis force related to circular motion. All sites I've seen limit themselves to presenting the formula that is valid for circular motion. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 21:15, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:34, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) AFAIK the formula is universally valid. But you can't go off saying Cor does work, purely on the strength of the derivations you've seen being done for circular motion!
For me the key element is that occasionally the coriolis force will move air against the pressure gradient, so locally the pressure gradient increases. Locally, sometimes, kinetic energy is converted to potential energy: that is work being done. (Invaribly, that work is undone later.) I can also use Perssons terminology: When air spirals inward, the pressure gradient force is doing work. When air spirals outward (can happen locally) the pressure gradient force is doing negative work. In physics, negative work of one force is work done by the opposite force. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 23:04, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 22:34, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Sadly I couldn't find better on the web, and my textbooks are at work, but you yourself have pointed to the AP ref that says, quite directly, that Cor does no work and is perp to V. Errrm... where is the formula for the mercury mirror case?
Well yeah, Anders Persson writes the usual cor-no-work. Again, overall, the contributions of the coriolis force cancel. Persson avoids stating coriolis force is transiently doing work by calling it 'negative work by the pressure gradient force'. That is consistent physics terminology. But the statements 'the pressure gradient force is doing negative work' and 'the coriolis force is doing work' are equivalent statements in this particular situation.
The rotating mercury mirror model in the coriolis effect article is approximately two-dimensional, which simplifies the math. The rotating mercury mirror serves as a centripetal force field where the force towards the center is proportional to the distance to the center.
(In the case of the real Earth the magnitude of the Coriolis force is latitude-dependent, of course. In meteorology the formula for the Coriolis force contains the sine of the latitude angle.)
The formula that I give for the force required for uniform motion with respect to rotating coördinate system is in the formula section of the coriolis effect article; the derivation is straightforward. The force of that formula is the force as seen from the perspective of the rotating frame. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 23:24, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 22:34, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Sadly I couldn't find better on the web, and my textbooks are at work, but you yourself have pointed to the AP ref that says, quite directly, that Cor does no work and is perp to V.
About force being perpendicular to the direction of motion - consider the trajectory of a charged particle in a bubble chamber, the charged particle loses kinetic energy as it is knocking electrons out of the orbits of molecules it is hitting. If there is a uniform magnetic field the charged particle will spiral inward. Without that magnetic field the linear velocity would just decrease. As the particle is spiralling inward, the Lorentz force is doing work, the radius of the trajectory is decreasing. In a vacuum chamber charged particles follow stable circular trajectories, then the Lorentz force isn't doing work. But when the trajectory is spiralling inward the Lorentz force is doing work. Whenever the radius of motion decreases the orbit is not circular. It is only when the orbit is perfectly circular that no work is being done. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 08:48, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 09:30, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) All this is besides the point. Its words. What you need is the mathematical formula for the coriolis force.
I think words can convey mathematical concepts as well as formulas can. Words can convey logic. The kinematics of moving around in a centripetal forcefield is logic application of principles of motion. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 09:58, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 10:02, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Words are nice, yes. But in this case the question is about a mathematical construct - the coriolis force. And the coriolis force is essentially a change-of-coordinates force, and thus squarely within the realm of pure maths (this is kinematics; no physics need be involved). And so the solution is to inspect the exact formula. And when I find that formula (or when I find confirmation that what I think is the formula really is it) then I'll make that inspection.

Guys, the Coriolis force: can do no work, because . The confusion that Cleon is having is that while the Coriolis force can do no work it can cause work to be done and this is what AP is describing. In that specific example, the notion is that Coriolis force changes the direction of the air parcel and the inertia then causes it to move against the pressure gradient. Hence work is done by the pressure gradient. It is not technically correct to say that the Coriolis force did work since at each instant the Coriolis force is directed perpendicular to the motion, but the Coriolis force can allow other forces to do work by changing the path of the motion.

In the Lorentz force example Cleon gives, again no work is done by the Lorentz force. The work is down by the friction of encounters with particles in the air. Wait? If the particle is spiraling inward, doesn't the particle have a component of velocity towards the center? Yes it does, but the Lorentz force , is always perpendicular to the motion. This means, paradoxically perhaps, that for a particle spiraling inward, the the Lorentz force will always be deflected away from the center by exactly the amount neccesary to ensure that it is doing no work. That's right, for a particle in a decaying spiral, the instantaneous force does not actually point to the center of rotation.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the Coriolis force is specifically the force given by and applies in a uniformly rotating reference frame. In the case of other situations, such as motion constrained to a rotating ellipsoid, one would derive other fictituous forces (sometimes termed constraint forces). In certain situations, it is possible for the constraint force to not be perpendicular to the motion, in which case they could routinely do work. In rotating situations, it would usually be described in terms of a Coriolis term (which does no work) plus other terms.

Anyway, the take home message is that the Coriolis force by definition can never do any work, but because it can change the path of a particle it can cause (or allow) other forces to do work on the particle. Dragons flight 11:31, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

OK, that looks good to me: the coriolis effect almost literally acts like a hinge. By contrast, a gravitational force field can act like reservoir, a "storage" of potential energy. There is the coriolis manifestation of inertia, but there is no "coriolis force field", not in the sense of representing potential energy, so it cannot act as a reservoir, everything the coriolis effect does is immediate. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 13:06, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Coriolis force formula

(William M. Connolley 10:02, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Words are nice, yes. But in this case the question is about a mathematical construct - the coriolis force. And the coriolis force is essentially a change-of-coordinates force, and thus squarely within the realm of pure maths (this is kinematics; no physics need be involved). And so the solution is to inspect the exact formula. And when I find that formula (or when I find confirmation that what I think is the formula really is it) then I'll make that inspection.

I will try to derive a formula rigorously.
A formula for uniform motion in a centripetal force field, as modeled by the 'rotating mercury mirror world'.
I think I will try first the formula for the force required for uniform motion in the radial direction of the rotating system. To move with constant velocity against a centripetal force field requires a force-component in the radial direction of the rotating system, and to prevent being deflected from moving in radial direction a tangential component is required.--Cleon Teunissen | Talk 13:30, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What is the physical consequence of a change of coordinates?

(William M. Connolley 10:02, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Words are nice, yes. But in this case the question is about a mathematical construct - the coriolis force. And the coriolis force is essentially a change-of-coordinates force,

What is the physical' consequence of a change of coordinates? Compare the example of the electric car, designed to recharge the battery system when switched to braking. The amount of recharging, the amount of work that is being done is independent of the choice of coordinate system. Changing the choice of coordinate system cannot possibly change the physics that is going on.
I think it is better to avoid a phrasing like 'change-of-coordinates force'. I think it is not a good metaphor. (assuming it is meant metaphorically). --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 13:46, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:10, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) You are too ready to veer off into words and consider-the-example-of, I think.

Let's stick to the coriolis force

(William M. Connolley 16:10, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Lets stick to the coriolis force, or rather the coriolis acceleration. If we consider the cor acc, then we don't need any physics whatsoever. It is pure kinematics: pure change-of-coordinates. This is not a metaphor. This is exact. In fact, its best to *start* from cor acc, then talk about cor force. Because this is, fundamentally, what the cor acc/force is (and quite possibly what gravity fundamentally is, too).

I propose to take inertial wind as starting point. As the name says, inertial wind is air moving inertially. On the northern hemisphere, inertial wind goes clockwise. When wind is circulating a low pressure area, the air is moving counterclockwise. Circulating a low pressure area, the air isn't turning to the right, as the coriolis force would have it, it's turning to the left.
As dragons flight writes, when there are constraints then the resultant acceleration is a product of several influences. All derivations I've seen derive a formula that is valid when coriolis effect is the only influence. As it appears this formula is valid too in the constrained circumstances, but I haven't seen a derivation of that anywhere. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 16:40, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I deleted the "formula for linear motion" from the coriolis effect article. It doesn't match either of the tho definitions in the next section.

Arbitration Notification

I have initiated a request for arbitration, lodging a complaint against you. In accordance with policy, this is your notification. The request is located here. Cortonin | Talk 01:31, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 21:15, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thank you. Hopefully you and I will both learn something useful.

Interesting note re: Arb

In case you missed this rejected vote, I found it amusing and instructive. At least he has read the first page of State of Fear :-) Vsmith 05:28, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 08:52, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)) I had missed it. Thanks. Looks like he is getting ideas above his station...

Arbitration Committee case opening

The Arbitration Committee has accepted the case against you. Please bring any additional evidence you may have to Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/William M. Connolley/Evidence. Thank you. -- Grunt [[European Union|User:Grunt/euflag]] 05:12, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 09:47, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)) OK, thanks.

Hi William.

I am sorry to hear that you are the focus of ArbCom. Whilst I'm not sure if there is anything I can do to help, I will lodge my support for you here.

The high levels of anti-GW bias on the Wikipedia is daunting and you've done you best patiently and with excellent command of Science and the facts. I was particularly surprised to hear that Ed Poor used his admin priviliges to block you in a dispute in which he was personally involved. In the face of such opposition, lesser men (such as I ;) would have shied away but you continue to ensure that the global warming and related articles remain on-topic and NPOV (well, as close as we can get).

Again, if you need my help do not hesitate to get in touch. --Axon 13:46, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Good luck on the RfA - I find it disturbing when someone working in a field has this much trouble keeping a page balanced. And a "me too" on Axon's comments. Guettarda 15:48, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 19:58, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for your comments, which are heartening. If you feel able, I would be grateful if you could repeat your comments on the RFA/Evidence page. Evidence is best, but comments are allowed too I think; and a comment, as you put above, that you are put off editing because of the controversy (err, from one side :-) would be valuable.
Done, with some evidence :) I hope my rambling remarks go in your favour, rather than work against it. --Axon 11:16, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 16:14, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)) Thanks, that looks good, and I hope should count in my favour.

Not at all. I wouldn't worry too much about the RfA. Even your opponents admit that you haven't actually done anything wrong and have only been editing according to your own POV: if that's a crime a lot of other editors are in trouble. Again, let me know if there is anything else I can do. --Axon 10:39, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hi again, sorry about the Solar greenhouse (technical) mess. I don't know what Cs impatience was really about. But, as I've alluded on the talk there, seems maybe he was trolling to get evidence for the arb case? Don't rightly know. I was learning and can see a pretty lengthy article on the topic with only a minor reference needed to the controversial global greenhouse effect. If he could have shown a bit of restraint I was planning to actually agree with him more on some operational details. Good luck. Vsmith 13:44, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Advanced Wikipedian

Hi William,

I'm guessing you are the sort of guy who know's his Iambic pentameter from his limerick (I don't really), but if so, you might be able to improve, correct and extend meta:The Advanced Wikipedian. -- Solipsist 22:50, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

He's back :-)

Take a look at [3], looks like JonGwynne is busy as -Vsmith 11:43, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 13:03, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Thanks for the note, and for fixing it. Extra vigilance! BTW, I have the hortistoat paper, for my sins.

Sar and SAR

Hello William would you consider requesting for assistance, mediation or comment for the long revert war with SchmuckyTheCat? — Instantnood 09:36, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

RfAr etc

Dismissing scientists as an advocacy group is a pretty major slander. For Ed's point to hold water, most scientists (those in a position to judge, at least) would be guilty of covering up the flaws in the science. As an academic, that would amount to misconduct. So Ed is alleging that most academics are liars. If one were to say something like that about an ethnic or national group they would get drummed out as racists. I don't appreciate being called a liar...and I'm aspie enough to take that as a very serious issue. He replied to what I said on his talk page, apparently, but I have no desire to get banned, and I am still angry enough to say something bannable. I'm doubly sensitive because I am an organismal biologist - I am used to these attacks on Evolution. It's the same crap coming from another direction. I am living in the US right now (Oklahoma, Inhofe's state!)...I just feel very threatened by this systematic campaign by the right wing. I bothered to read the Unification Church article, and more importantly, the talk page. Talking points plus talking points. That's what I see. Yeah, I realise, I sound like a paranoid nut. I'm letting this place get to me at last. But anyway...I will lie low for a few days, catch up on some of the work I don't get done because I spend too much time on Wikipedia...

And thanks for your comments. Guettarda 23:52, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How to establish what physics is taking place

(William M. Connolley 08:51, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Well of course you can make the Coriolis effect vanish. All you need to do is transform back into the original frame. But this has no effect on the *physics* of course.

Hi William,
Let me try to explain why our last conversation, about the coriolis effect, was so puzzling to me. For comparison: on the Talk page of the garden greenhouse article you argued to Cortonin that the physical cause of the garden greenhouse effect should be evaluated as follows: change the transparancy to say, infrared and see whether the garden greenhouse is still "greenhousing"(and it is). Change the suppression of convective loss of heat and see whether the garden greenhouse is still "greenhousing"(it's not). In this way it is established that suppression of convection is the primary contributor to the greenhousing of the garden greenhouse.
I argue that the physical cause of the coriolis effect should be evaluated with the same type of approach as in the case of the garden greenhouse. When the causal chain of the coriolis effect, as it occurs in the seas and atmosphere of the Earth, is traced back, you end up with the fact that the Earth is rotating. A change of coordinates in a calculation has (obviously) no effect on the terrestrial coriolis effect. So what makes you claim that the coriolis effect is 'primarily a change-of-coordinates effect? --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 10:48, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 10:57, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)) The GHE is a physical effect - it depends on the presence or absense of real objects and their properties. And I agree, of course, that the physical effects of the earths rotation have a strong effect on the physical properties of the circulation. I hope I haven't given the impression otherwise. But you are entitled, if you wish, to express the physics of the earths coordinates in a frame of reference inertial wrt the fixed stars, if you so desire. People don't, because it would be hideously complicated. In such a frame, you would of course not have a coriolis force (you would presumably end up with terms with different labels which would produce the same effects). But the solutions, once re-expressed, would end up with the same ocean velocities wrt the ocean bed. Of course. This is why I say its a change-of-coords acceleration.

Cleon Teunissen | Talk 21:38, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC) I have always assumed that you agree that coriolis effect is physics taking place. I just couldn't fathom why you nonetheless preferred to call it 'primarily a change-to-rotating-coordinate-system-effect' Actually I still can't. Nature doesn't calculate what's supposed to happen, it just happens.

By the way, it suffices to state 'an inertial frame of reference'. According to general relativity, the local inertial frame of reference can rotate with respect to the fixed stars, so formally the fixed stars are not relevant as reference . Around Earth the predicted rotation is in the order of tens of mili-arcseconds per year, but hey, it's not zero. (Possibly this frame dragging is significant close to a rapidly spinning neutron star.)
The fixed stars are not necessarey as reference of rotation. The ring laser experiment of Canterbury university New Zealand uses a ring laser interferometer to monitor the rotation rate of Earth (The rotation rate with respect to the local inertial frame, not with respect to the fixed stars!). The Helium-Neon laser has a frequency of 473 TeraHz. Because of the rotation of Earth, the counterclockwise and clockwise laserlight in the interferometer goes out of phase lock, and they they end up with a steady 70.7 Hz difference in frequency. The two frequencies of the laserlight are led to produce an interference pattern, that in this case takes the form of a beat frequency. The 70.7 Hz beat frequency is consistent with the rotation rate of Earth. The Canterbury equipment is so sensitive they can measure fluctuations in the 70.7 Hz beat frequency to microHz precision.
External links: The operating principle of the ring laser interferometer
Interview with the team that performs the Canterbury ring laser interferometer measurements
What's really neat about that ring laser interferometer is that it doesn't require calibration by comparison with an outside reference. All the experimentor needs to know is the area that is circumscribed by the laserlight, and the frequency of the laserlight. That plus the beat frequency that arises automatically as a consequence of the rotation is enough to measure the rotation rate of Earth. The ring laser interferometer is situated in a cave, shielded as much as possible from any possible outside influence.
I have written about the Canterbury ring laser interferometer before, but I didn't half understand it back then. Back then I wrote that it measures absolute rotation, which is only true in the sense that it is not a relative measurement; no calibration is required. In writing the Sagnac interferometer article, I have collaborated with EMS, who currently works on the Equivalence principle article. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 10:30, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
ERRATUM. I have collaborated with EMS on the Sagnac effect article, the sagnac interferometer article is someone elses stub. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 15:18, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Back to the coriolis effect. Calculations using an inertial frame of reference wouldn't be much more complicated. It would have to be programmed, and after that the computers take care of it. It is complex anyway. In a cartesian coordinate system, a single acceleration law suffices: F=ma. But then again, in the inertial frame of reference, even air that is motionless with respect to Earth must be "tracked" in its circular motion around the axis of the Earth. In a co-rotating coordinate system, three laws of acceleration are required: one proportional to radius: centripetal force, one proportional to velocity: coriolis force, and the regular F=ma. It's a trade-off. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 21:38, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
(William M. Connolley 11:21, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Calculations, for the earth, in an inertial frame would be far more complicated; this is why no one ever does it. I am still unable to understand why you don't see that the coriolis acceleration is maths/kinematics, not physics. All you are doing is changing coordinate systems.

Validity of a line of reasoning

The mystery remains. Of course, when air motions are to be calculated the calculations stategy involves converting between coordinates systems that are rotating with respect to each other.

I remember the calculation strategy that was used in WW II by the teams in the United States that were working frantically to develop atom bombs. They applied statistics. Each time an Uranium nucleus absorbs a neutron it will split, and two or three neutrons will be emitted, in randon direction and in a range of velocities. So how are you ever going to calculate how a nuclear detonation develops, and how much energy is likely to be released? Will the Uranium "charge" be blasted apart when only a tiny fraction of the uranium has split? Or will the atomic chain reaction progress so fast there is no time to fly apart? The calculation strategy that was used to come up with answers to those questions was a statistical one. They would proceed sequentially, and whenever there were several possible outcomes, they used a random generator to choose one of them. They would have several rounds, and compare them. This strategy was called the 'Monte Carlo method'. This calculation strategy turned out to be a strategy that delivered good predictions of how a particular design would perform.

You say that since in calculations of the coriolis effect coordinate transforms are used, it follows that the coriolis effect is primarily a coordinate transform effect. Do you apply the same reasoning the case of the Monte Carlo method? In your opinion, is the fact that atom bombs explode primarily a statistical effect? I'm not pulling your leg. If a certain line of reasoning is valid in the case of the physics of the coriolis effect it must be equally valid in atomic physics. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 13:32, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

(William M. Connolley 15:00, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)) Atmoic bombs are essenially statistical, in the sense that they rely on QM, which is. But of course, what you mean is, "is the fact that a statistical method is used to solve a problem proof that the problem itself is stat". The answer is no. But your analogy is far from exact. The equations for fluid motion can be solved in an inertial frame, with a boundary codition of a moving earth; or in a rotating frame with a fixed earth and a coriolis acceleration. The two approaches produce the same answers (when the answers are transformed too), of course. One (using the coriolis acc) is far simpler, so people use it. But the difference between the two is mathematical, not physical. I still don't understand your point. But my answers seem to be going round in circles: I've said all this before. This is boring, to me if not to you. So unless I have anything new to add, I won't comment again.

I think I do understand some more now. I seems to me that we disagree about didactics rather than on anything else. You feel that it must in the first place be explained how the approach using a co-rotating frame is different from the approach using the inertial frame. By contrast, my inclination is to not discuss any of the mathematics directly. Instead I use pictures, and I wish I knew how to make good animations of them. I would prefer to let animations tell the story of what is going on. That's why I like the tidal force article so much; the picture tells the story.
I think I have a better idea of your thoughts now, I think I can see how your thoughts on this fit together. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 17:51, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The tidal force article gets it just right. It starts with explaining the physics.

The tidal force is a secondary effect of the force of gravity and is responsible for the tides. It arises because the gravitational field is not constant across a body's diameter. When a body is acted on by the gravity of another body, the gravitational acceleration can vary significantly between the near side and the far side. This tends to distort the shape of the body

The next section of the article describes how the tidal acceleration can be obtained. That's calculation strategy; it would be off the mark to claim: 'tidal force is primarily a vectorial subtraction effect' At the same time: visualising it as a vectorial subtraction does help understanding of the effect. --Cleon Teunissen | Talk 07:20, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)