# Difference Between Centrifugal And Centripetal Forces [PDF]

Contents

In this article, I shall tell you about the difference between centrifugal and centripetal forces. A PDF is also shared at the end.

## What is Centrifugal Force

Centrifugal force is a fictitious yet useful concept in physics, experienced by a particle in circular motion. It mirrors the centripetal force that maintains the particle’s circular path but acts in the opposite direction. Consider a stone on a string whirling horizontally: the tension in the string serves as the centripetal force, directing the stone toward the post. If the string breaks, the stone moves tangentially due to inertia, not outward as it would if centrifugal force were real.

Though not recognized by Newton’s laws as a genuine force, the centrifugal force concept proves valuable, especially in analyzing fluid behavior in rotating containers like cream separators. In such rotating frames, an inertial force, the fictitious centrifugal force, is included to apply Newton’s laws.

Alterations in centrifugal force involve changing rotation speed, body mass, or radius. Speed adjustments have a squared impact, while mass and radius changes exhibit direct or inverse proportion effects. Laboratories employ centrifuges to generate centrifugal fields exceeding 1,000,000,000g. This concept simplifies complex analyses, providing a practical framework for understanding motion in rotating systems.

## What is Centripetal Force

Centripetal force, in simple terms, is the force that acts on an object in curved motion, directing it toward the axis of rotation or center of curvature. It is measured in newtons and is always perpendicular to the object’s displacement direction. According to Newtonâ€™s second law, the centripetal force acting on an object in a circular path is directed towards the center of the circle.

To calculate centripetal force, you can use the formula:

F=(m.v2â€‹/r)

where F is the centripetal force, m is the object’s mass, v is its speed or velocity, and r is the radius.

In daily life, centripetal force is evident when spinning a ball on a string, turning a car, or experiencing the force of gravity in planetary orbits. Whether it’s tension in a rope, friction between wheels and the ground, or gravity’s pull, centripetal force is responsible for maintaining objects in circular or angular motion.

## Difference Between Centrifugal And Centripetal Forces

Let’s see the Difference Between Centrifugal And Centripetal Forces in the table below

What is centripetal force?
Centripetal force directs an object in curvilinear motion toward the axis of rotation or center of curvature.

Give examples of centripetal force.
Examples include the moon revolving around the earth and the spinning top.

Does centripetal force increase with speed?
Yes! As the particle’s speed increases, the centripetal force it experiences also increases, as indicated by the expression (mv2/r).

Does centripetal force increase with radius?
No! The expression (mv2/r) suggests that as the radius of the particle’s turn increases, the experienced centripetal force decreases.

Compare centrifugal force and centripetal force.
While centripetal force is observed from an inertial frame of reference, centrifugal force is observed from a non-inertial frame of reference. Centripetal force directs toward the axis of rotation or center of curvature, whereas centrifugal force directs away from the center of the circle.

## Conclusion

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