Physics# Centrifugal force

## What is centrifugal force?

## About centrifugal force

## How it is calculated

#### General formula

## Units

## Application

## Importance of centrifugal force

## Examples

**Centrifugal force** is the **apparent outward force** of a mass as it rotates. You can think of a ball at the end of a rope that is being turned, or the outward movement you feel when you turn a curve while traveling in a car. In an **inertial** frame, there is no **external acceleration** because the system is not spinning. The ball or your body simply moves in the **straight line** you were originally following. But in the **rotating** reference frame of the rope or car, they seem to **accelerate**.

**Unit**: Newton**Symbol**: N**Formula**: Fcf= mw^{2}r

It is a force that appears when describing the **movement** of a **body** in a rotating system, or the apparent force perceived by a non-**inertial** observer located in a **rotating reference** system.

Centrifugal force is the **force** produced **out** of a mass when it rotates. Bearing in mind that the Earth rotates around a **fixed axis**, the direction of the centrifugal force always **moves away** from the axis, is **opposite** to the direction of **gravity** at the equator; and at the **poles** of the Earth is **zero**. It is the force needed inwards that prevents the mass from moving in a straight line, it has the same size as the centrifugal force, with the opposite sign. It is important to mention that the centrifugal force is only an **apparent force**.

Centrifugal force can be calculated when the exact **mass** and **velocity** of the object is known, as well as the **radius of the circle** in which it is traveling. So the formula for calculating centrifugal acceleration is as follows:

**Ac = V ^{2} / R**

Formula in which:

- Ac:
**centripetal acceleration** - V=
**tangential velocity** - R=
**turning radius**

You can also add the following data:

**V=****ω R**

That is the **angular velocity** or ω and that is measured in **radians** / **second**, which we must multiply by the R, which means **radius**.

**Fcf= mw ^{2}r**

Generally, centrifugal force can be measured associated with a **moving** **mass particle** (m). For example, in a washing machine a mass particle could be taken as the density of the components of the machine, which are water and clothes.

It can then be measured by the movement velocity which is known as **angular velocity** and is represented by the letter “**w**“. On the other hand, evidently a position in the **rotation plane** (r) that would be the corresponding **radius** from the **center** of rotation until where the container in this occasion allows to arrive at the clothes, in the case of the washing machine.

Its **general formula** is equal to **Fcf= mw ^{2}r** to finally be able to be expressed in the corresponding measure of forces the

The main applications where centrifugal force is used are as follows:

- The inclination in the
**train curves**, because the centrifugal force that drives the train out when it takes the curve, is counteracted by the force that is manifested when the side of the wheels presses on the rails. - It is used in the
**centrifuge**which is a machine that rotates a sample to accelerate the decanting or sedimentation of its components. - In centrifugal
**pumps**and turbines that work with liquids and air, respectively. - In
**metal casting**, due to the precision, safety and quality of the castings. - In
**water pumps**as they rotate the water around in the turbine so that it is expelled through its corresponding opening carrying the water to the place it is needed.

In **physical** and **chemical** studies, there is a special method that is used for **separating elements**, whether liquid or not. This has the purpose of studying its **composition** through a **physical process** that is called **centrifugation**.

The centrifugal force is also in charge of making **circular rotary movements** through circular energy making that the elements will be attracted towards a center and in this way they can be **separated** from the other **substance**.

For this reason, centrifugal force is a very important process that separates and decomposes **chemical samples**. The results that are made using this process are used for studying the elements applied in the **centrifuge**. The importance of this method lies in the infinite uses it has in the different areas of **physics** and **chemistry** for the separation and union of mixtures.

It is then used in fields such as **pharmaceuticals**, **organic chemistry**, basic **chemistry**, **food**, **nuclear** **studies** and **household appliances** that need the **filtration** process.

Some examples of centrifugal force are as follows:

**Planet rotation**: the centrifugal force that occurs in the elliptical rotation that the planets have with respect to their star can be appreciated. An example of this is our planet earth.**Washing machines**: when we put clothes in our washing machine, it is very easy to observe the centrifugal force.**Blender**: when the blender is running you can see the centrifugal force. When we make a fruit milkshake with milk you can see the strength even better.- When we observe the
**mud**that comes out of a**tire**or when we see children who feel a**force**that pulls them out when they play in the**carousel**.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). *Centrifugal force*. Recovered on 23 February, 2024, de Euston96: https://www.euston96.com/en/centrifugal-force/