# describe centripetal force and centrifugal force

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## Centripetal and Centrifugal Force

Read formulas, definitions, laws from Dynamics of Circular Motion here. Click here to learn the concepts of Centripetal and Centrifugal Force from Physics

## Centripetal and Centrifugal Force

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## DEFINITION

### Difference between cetrifugal and centripetal force

Centripetal Force Centrifugal Force

A centripetal force is a force that makes a body follow a curved path. Its direction is always orthogonal to the motion of the body and towards the fixed point of the instantaneous center of curvature of the path. Centrifugal force is an outward force apparent in a rotating reference frame; it does not exist when

measurements are made in an inertial frame of reference. All measurements of position and velocity must be made relative to some frame of reference.

Centripetal Force is observed from inertial frame of reference.

Centrifugal Force is observed from non- inertial frame of reference.

## DEFINITION

### Define Centripetal Force

Definition is a force acting on particle performing the circular motion, which is a long radius of circle and directed towards the center of circle.

Centripetal force acts at right angles to the tangential velocity of the particle, there is no displacement in the direction of force, hence no work is done by centripetal force.

## EXAMPLE

### Examples of Centripetal Force

Examples of Centripetal Force:

1. When an object tied at the end of a string is whirled in a horizontal circle, the necessary centripetal force for maintaining circular motion is provided by tension in the string.

2. If a car is traveling round a circular horizontal road with uniform speed, the necessary centripetal force for negotiating the curve is provided by force of friction between tyres of vehicle and road surface.

3. The necessary centripetal force is provided by push due to rails on the wheels of train during taking turn.

4. Moon revolves around the earth in circular orbit. Here the necessary centripetal force is provided by gravitational force of attraction between moon and earth.

## DEFINITION

### Define Centrifugal Force

Definition is a pseudo force in U.C.M. which acts along radius and directed away from the centre of circle.

## EXAMPLE

### Examples of Centrifugal Force

Examples of Centrifugal force:

1. When a car in motion takes a sudden turn towards left, passengers in a car experiences an outward push to the right. this is due to the centrifugal force acting on passengers.

2. A bucket full of water is rotated in vertical circle at a particular speed, so that water dose not fall. This is because, weight of water is balanced by centrifugal force acting on it.

3. The bulging of earth at equator and flattering at the pole is due to centrifugal force acting on it.

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Centripetal Force - I

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### QUICK SUMMARY WITH STORIES

### Centripetal Force

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### Producing Centripetal Force in Daily Life

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### Understanding Centrifugal Force Through an Experiment

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### Centrifugal Force (A Pseudo Force)

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## Centripetal Force and Centrifugal Force

Centripetal Force and Centrifugal force are the forces in a circular motion, but one of them is a fictitious force. To learn more about the circular forces, visit BYJU’S - The Learning App.

PhysicsForceCentripetal And Centrifugal Force

## Centripetal and Centrifugal Force

Force is required to make an object move, and force acts differently on objects depending on the type of motion it exhibits. In the case of curvilinear motion, a special force comes into the picture, i.e., centripetal force – literally meaning “centre seeking.” Centripetal force is the force acting towards the centre of the circular path. In this article, let us discuss what centripetal force is and how it is different from centrifugal force.

**Table of Contents**

Centripetal Force Definition

Centripetal Force Calculation

Centripetal Force Examples

Centrifugal Force Definition

Centrifugal Force Calculation

Centrifugal Force Examples

Difference Between Centripetal Force and Centrifugal Force

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

## Defining Centripetal Force

According to the centripetal force definition,

Centripetal force is the force acting on an object in curvilinear motion directed towards the axis of rotation or centre of curvature.

**The unit of centripetal force is newton.**

The centripetal force is always directed perpendicular to the direction of the object’s displacement. Using Newton’s second law of motion, it is found that the centripetal force of an object moving in a circular path always acts towards the centre of the circle.

### Calculating Centripetal Force

The Centripetal Force Formula is given as the product of mass (in kg) and tangential velocity (in meters per second) squared, divided by the radius (in meters) that implies that on doubling the tangential velocity, the centripetal force will be quadrupled. Mathematically it is written as:

F=mv2r

Where, **F** is the Centripetal force, **m** is the mass of the object, **v** is the speed or velocity of the object and **r** is the radius.

### Centripetal Force Examples in Daily Life

The centripetal force pulls or pushes an object towards the centre of a circle as it travels, causing angular or circular motion.

When spinning a ball on a string or twirling a lasso, the force of tension on the rope pulls the object towards the centre.

The centripetal force is provided by the frictional force between the ground and the wheels when turning a car.

When going through a loop on a roller coaster, the force is provided by the normal force as the seat or wall pushes you towards the centre.

For the planets orbiting around the Sun, the centripetal force is provided by Gravity.

**Watch the video and understand what keeps the moon in orbit around the earth.**

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## What is Centrifugal Force?

Centrifugal force is a pseudo force in a circular motion which acts along the radius and is directed away from the centre of the circle. The force does not exist when measurements are made in an inertial frame of reference. It only comes into play when changing our reference frame from a ground/inertial to a rotating reference frame.

**The centrifugal force’s unit is newton.**

### Calculating Centrifugal Force

A centrifugal force basically uses the centripetal force formula (which describes a real phenomenon) and reverses the direction of the force, to describe the fictitious centrifugal force.

F=−mv2r

Where, F is the Centrifugal force, **m** is the mass of the object, **v** is the speed or velocity of the object and **r** is the radius.

### Centrifugal Force Examples in Daily Life

Centrifugal Force acts on every object moving in a circular path when viewed from a rotating frame of reference. Some examples of Centrifugal Force are given below.

Weight of an object at the poles and on the equator

A bike making a turn.

Vehicle driving around a curve

Equatorial railway

## Centripetal Force vs Centrifugal Force

Check the table below to learn the detailed comparison between Centripetal and Centrifugal Force

Differences Between Centripetal And Centrifugal Force

**Centripetal Force**

**Centrifugal Force**

Centripetal force is the component of force acting on an object in curvilinear motion which is directed towards the axis of rotation or centre of curvature. Centrifugal force is a pseudo force in a circular motion which acts along the radius and is directed away from the centre of the circle.

It is observed from an inertial frame of reference. It is observed from a non-inertial frame of reference.

If a car is travelling through a curve on a circular horizontal road, the centripetal force provided by the force of friction between the tyres of the vehicle and the road surface allows the car to negotiate the turn. When a car in motion takes a sudden turn towards the left, passengers in a car experience an outward push. This is due to the centrifugal force acting on passengers.

## Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

## What Are Centrifugal & Centripetal Forces?

Centrifugal and Centripetal are closely related forces describe circular motion, but the meanings are often mixed up.

## What are centrifugal and centripetal forces?

By Ben Biggs, Jim Lucas last updated March 07, 2022

They are both experienced by rotating objects, but they are not the same.

(Image credit: Anthony Ching/Getty Images)

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Centripetal and centrifugal forces

Newton's laws of motion

Examples of centripetal force

Additional resources

Bibliography

Centripetal and centrifugal forces are the forces experienced by rotating objects. The centripetal force keeps an object moving in a circle and is always pointed toward the center of that circle. For instance, the gravitational force of the sun is a centripetal force that keeps the Earth orbiting around it. Meanwhile, the centrifugal force is an apparent outward force on an object that is moving in a circle. An example of centrifugal force would be the sensation you have when riding a merry-go-round that makes you want to fly outwards.

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### THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CENTRIPETAL AND CENTRIFUGAL FORCES

The main difference between centripetal and centrifugal forces is that the centripetal force is the force pointing towards the center of a circle that keeps an object moving in a circular path, while the centrifugal force is the sensation that an object feels when it moves in that circular path, with that sensation seeming to push it away from the center of a circle.

People experience centrifugal force when they round a corner in a car or when an airplane banks into a turn. It occurs in the spin cycle of a washing machine or when children ride on a merry-go-round. One day it may even provide artificial gravity for spaceships and space stations - if we can get spacecraft to spin rapidly enough, the centrifugal force can provide some semblance of the normal sensation of gravity.

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But centrifugal force is often confused with its counterpart, centripetal force, because they are so closely related — essentially two sides of the same coin.

Centripetal force is the name given to any force that keeps an object moving in a circle — think of a rock tied to the end of a string, with the other end tied to something or in your hand. When the string is swirled around, the tension in that string keeps the rock from flying away in a straight line. That tension points inward, toward the center of the circle. As another example, the sun’s gravity provides the centripetal force that keeps the planets moving in their orbits.

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The centripetal force always points perpendicular to the direction of an object’s motion. If you're riding in a car and the road banks and curves to the left, the normal force from the banked road will push the car to the left. If the centripetal force were to suddenly disappear, the car would continue moving in a straight line.

On the other hand, centrifugal force is an apparent force that an object feels as it moves along a curved path — and that apparent force is pointed in a direction away from the center of the path of rotation, according to Christopher S. Baird at West Texas A&M University

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Centrifugal is the outward force while centripetal pulls a rotating object inward. (Image credit: Future)

Note that while centripetal force is an actual force, centrifugal force is defined as an apparent force. In other words, when twirling a mass on a string, the string exerts an inward centripetal force on the mass, while mass "appears" to exert an outward centrifugal force on the string.

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"The difference between centripetal and centrifugal force has to do with different 'frames of reference,' that is, different viewpoints from which you measure something," said Andrew A. Ganse, a research physicist at the University of Washington. "Centripetal force and centrifugal force are really the exact same force, just in opposite directions because they're experienced from different frames of reference."

If you are observing a rotating system from the outside, you see an inward centripetal force acting to constrain the rotating body to a circular path. However, if you are part of the rotating system, you experience an apparent centrifugal force pushing you away from the center of the circle, even though what you are actually feeling is the inward centripetal force that is keeping you from literally going off on a tangent.

Let's return to the example of the car following a banked turn. If you're watching from the outside, you can observe the centripetal force pushing the car inward toward the center, keeping it moving in a circle. But if you're riding inside the car, you instead feel a force attempting to push you away from the center of the circle — this is the centrifugal force.

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### CENTRIFUGAL FORCE AND NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION

This apparent outward force is described by Newton's laws of motion. Newton's first law states that "a body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force."

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