Rotating Tank Laboratory

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation and collaborators at MIT, Professor McKinley has built and continues to maintain a rotating tank laboratory in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. The rotating tank is a fantastic way to share the counterintuitive impacts of rotation on fluids, and indicates key processes governing the dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere.

The lab has two rotating platforms, one of which is used primary for instructional purposes (class demos at levels from freshman to graduate, and in laboratory courses) inside our building. The other platform is used for outreach at local schools, at science festivals, and at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Many graduate students have become involved with these outreach efforts – hats off to them!

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More information about the apparatus and instructional guides can be found at from MIT’s Weather in a Tank project.

For internal users, please sign up on this Google Doc to reserve the tank for use in a class our outreach activities.