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Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis

AKA Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis

Born: 21-May-1792
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 19-Sep-1843
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Cimetière de Montparnasse, Paris, France

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Mathematician, Engineer

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Coriolis force

French mathematician and engineer Gustave-Gaspard de Coriolis was mentored by Augustin-Louis Cauchy, and gave the terms work and kinetic energy their modern scientific meanings. He conducted important research into ergonomics, friction, hydraulics, and machine performance, but his most important contribution to science was his description of the Coriolis force (sometimes called the Coriolis effect). Caused by the Earth's rotation, the Coriolis force makes moving objects, oceans, and atmospheric systems rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Contrary to popular misconception, the Coriolis force is infinitesimal in something as small as a draining bathtub, and it has no practical influence on which way such a small whirlpool swirls. Coriolis also wrote an advanced mathematical theory explaining billiards.

Father: Jean-Baptiste-Elzéar Coriolis (military officer-industrialist)
Mother: Marie-Sophie de Maillet

    University: École Polytechnique
    University: École des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris
    Teacher: Mathematics & Mechanics, École Polytechnique (1816-29)
    Professor: Physics, École Centrale des Artes et Manufactures, Paris (1829-32)
    Professor: Applied Mathematics, École des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris (1832-38)
    Administrator: Director of Studies, École des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris (1838-43)

    Lunar Crater Coriolis (0.1° N, 171.8° E, 78 km diameter)
    French Academy of Sciences

Author of books:
Lehrbuch der Mechanik Fester Körper (Textbook of Mechanics of Solid Bodies) (1846, posthumous, with C. H. Schnuse)


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