In this article you will find out**What is centripetal and centrifugal force?**and how they work in real life. It is**Definition, work, example and the difference between centripetal force and centrifugal force**are explained with**Pictures**.

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## What is centripetal force?

**Contents** show

Centripetal force is defined as the force that causes an object to follow a curved path and point towards the center around which the body is moving. Or in simple terms, centripetal force is a force that acts to move an object in a circular path.

### action of the centripetal force

Imagine a rope swinging in a circle with a can attached to the end. The can is in a constant state of acceleration because its speed is constantly changing due to its circular path. The acceleration of the can is caused by a net force acting on the object.

This always pulls an object towards the center of the circle, without this force an object continues to move in a straight line. The centripetal force is tension on the rope.

The centripetal force is equal to the mass velocity squared divided by the radius. As these variables change, the centripetal force also changes, an increase in mass or velocity, or a decrease in radius will result in an increase in centripetal force.

A reduction in mass or velocity, or an increase in radius will result in a reduction in centripetal force. When the rope is cut, the can no longer maintains a circular path and flies in a straight tangent due to Newton's first law of inertia.

Also read:The Complete List of Mechanical Properties Every Mechanical Engg Should Know

### Examples of centripetal force

- Gravity pulls the moon to the center of the earth, this pole is the centripetal force that keeps the moon in orbit around the earth. When Earth's gravity stopped, the moon would fly out into space in a straight line.
- Another example of centripetal force is the force that binds mud to atires as it spins. As the rotational speed of the tire increases, the centripetal force will not be great enough to keep the mud on the tire and the mud will fly off the tire in straight line tangents.

### Formula of the centripetal force

Centripetal force is usually calculated using the formula given below.

Wo,

- Fc = centriptal force
- m = Mass of Objects
- v = speed
- r = Radius

Also read:What are definitions and terms used in mechanical measurements?

## What is centrifugal force?

It is an external imaginary force experienced by an object moving in a circular path away from the center of rotation. The theory of centrifugal force is used to define the physics of rotating equipment such as a centrifuge,centrifugal pump, centrifugalGovernor, and other devices.

### action of centrifugal force

As we discussed with the can attached to the cord. Centripetal force is the force that creates tension on the string. In this example there are two perspectives, outside the can and inside the can.

As Newton's third law states, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction from outside the can, there should be an outward reaction force to the centripetal force. This force escaping from the center is called centrifugal force.

Reactive centrifugal force is the reaction force to a centripetal force. The curved moving can is constantly accelerated in the direction of the axis of rotation. This centripetal acceleration is provided by a centripetal force exerted on the can by another object.

This is the centrifugal reactive force and is directed away from the center of rotation and exerted by the rotating can on the object creating the centripetal acceleration. When the object is placed in the can, it appears that the object has an outward force pushing it toward the bottom of the can and away from the center of rotation.

### Apparent centrifugal force

The apparent centrifugal force is most commonly introduced as an outward force visible in a rotating frame of reference. It is apparent or imaginary in the sense that it is not part of the interaction but actually the object's inertia. The object naturally wants to move straight ahead, but centripetal force won't allow it.

This type of force is associated with the description of motion in a non-inertial frame of reference and is referred to as a notional or inertial force. The reactionary and apparent centrifugal force is not a real force. Therefore it is a result of rotation, not force.

The apparent centrifugal force is really the inertia of the object. A more accurate definition of centrifugal force would be the absence of centrifugal force.

### Example centrifugal force

- The weight of an object at the poles and equator.
- Vehicle skids while turning or skids while cornering.

### centrifugal force formula

Centrifugal force is usually calculated using the formula below. Suppose the object's velocity is known and calculated by:

Wo

- V = velocity of moving can
- r = it is the distance of the moving can from the center
- m = mass of the moving can

If the angular velocity is known and it is calculated by

Wo

- ω = angular velocity
- r= distance of the moving can from the center
- m= mass of the moving can

Also read:What are the 3 laws of thermodynamics? [explained with pictures]

## Difference between centripetal force and centrifugal force

The following are the main differences between centripetal force and centrifugal force:

Comparison based on | centripetal force | centrifugal force |
---|---|---|

Definition | It is defined as the force that keeps an object moving in a circular path and is directed towards the center of the circle. | It is defined as the force, an external imaginary force, experienced by an object moving in a circular path away from the center of rotation. |

In simple terms | Centripetal force is the force required for circular motion. | Centrifugal force is the force that forces an object to escape from the center. |

Nature | It looks at a real force and has real life implications. | It is considered an imaginary force, but it also has a real effect. |

direction of movement | It causes a direction to rotate toward the center. | It causes one direction to go straight without turning. |

monitoring | This is seen from an inertial frame of reference. | This is viewed from a non-inertial frame of reference. |

Formula | F = mv²/r against the centrifugal force. | F = mv²/r in the opposite direction to the centripetal force. |

Example | The moon orbits the earth. | Vehicle slips when turning. |

applications | In a roller coaster, it uses centripetal force to make sharp turns at the ends that prevent it from moving off the tracks. | You must have seen the Gravitron ride where centrifugal force gives pleasure to the rider by making them feel in the air. |

## packaging

As I mentioned above, centripetal force is the force required to set an object in circular motion. While centrifugal force is an inertial force that appears to act on all objects when viewed in a rotating frame of reference.

So I hope that for now you will know something about the “**Centripetal vs. centrifugal force**“. If you have any questions or doubts about this article, feel free to ask them in the comments. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends.

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