Planetary rotation greatly influences flows of fluids in atmospheres and oceans through the Coriolis acceleration. In non-rotating fluid the fluid parcels move from high to low pressure regions. In a rapidly rotating fluid, particles move across the pressure gradient (along isobars) due to the Coriolis force. This geostrophic flow leads to the generation of large structures, such as cyclones or anti-cyclones. If the flow is forced at small scales, the energy is transferred to larger scales via the inverse energy cascade, similarly to 2D turbulence. In addition to turbulent eddying fluid motion, rotating fluids support several branches of waves, in which the Coriolis force acts as a restoring force, for example, Rossby waves. The dynamics of the rapidly rotating turbulent systems and the interactions between large-scale flows, waves and turbulence is not yet fully understood.
In our a new laboratory experiment we study broad range of physics phenomena in rotating fluids. These are: turbulent energy cascades in rotating fluids, properties of inertial waves and their interaction with large scale flows.