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CBSE - XI Science - Physics - Mechanical Properties of Fluids

The speed of the innermost layer of a whirlwind is alarmingly high. Explain.Name and state the law on which it is based. Give the mathematical expression for the law.

Asked by gargi s 27th January 2011, 11:28 PM
Answered by Expert


Dear student,
This is explained by the principle of conservation of angular momentum, which simply states that as a rotating body gets smaller, it speeds up. Tornadoes typically form from a strong rotating updraft called a mesocyclone. This circulation is usually 2 to 6 miles wide. Air movements within a thunderstorm can force the rotation of a mesocyclone into a much smaller circulation, typically less than a quarter mile wide. This can lead to an enormous increase in wind speed.
To put in simple terms,
As whirl wind the air from nearby regions gets concentrated in small region. Thus the moment of inertia of rotating air decreases and thus angular velocity of the rotation increases.
Hope this helps.
Thanking you
Answered by Expert 28th January 2011, 10:12 AM

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