Tides

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3. Rotating tidal forces as mutually orthogonal oscillating forces

Each uniformly rotating vector can be represented as a sum of two mutually perpendicular harmonically oscillating vectors. The frequency of these oscillations equals the angular velocity of the rotating vector. To produce the rotating vector, the oscillating components should have equal amplitudes, and one of the components should oscillate with a quarter-period phase delay with respect to the other.

Click here to observe the rotating forces, and here to observe such a decomposition of the rotating vectors (or check the corresponding checkboxes on the control panel). The oscillating orthogonal components are shown by different colors. (Click also here to see the applet.)

For the decomposition of a rotating vector, the two mutually orthogonal directions for the oscillating components can be chosen arbitrarily. This choice may be different for different points. We have chosen directions for the oscillating components in such a way that all forces of one component simultaneously reach their maxima at all equatorial points of the globe, and also simultaneously turn to zero. Click here to observe the decomposition at four points, or here to observe the decomposition at eight different points at once. (Click also here to see the applet.)

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The Oceanic Tides Section 3 (of 8)