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Physics# Centripetal force

## What is centripetal force?

## About centripetal force

## How it is calculated

## Units

## Applications of centripetal force

## Importance

## Difference between centripetal force and centrifugal force

## Examples

We find the centrifugal force every day and at every moment of our daily lives. We experience it when we turn a corner in an automobile or when an airplane leans towards a turn, these are typical examples of it. Some people may confuse the **centripetal force** with its counterpart, the centrifugal force, because they are so closely related. However, they are different, the centripetal force is defined as, the component of **force** that acts on a **body** in curvilinear **motion** that is directed toward the **center** of curvature or axis of rotation.

**Unit**: Newton**Symbol**: N**Formula**: F = - (m·v^{2}/r) u_{r }= - m·w^{2}·r = m·a

It is when some object that describes a **circular** **trajectory** by **force** situations that is exerted by the one who does the action, has the sensation of being taken to the **interior** of the **center** of the **circumference** that is described.

Centripetal force is a system that works when a given object moves in a **curvilinear** direction. This type of force will act **perpendicular** to the direction, in this case, **gravity** will operate as an opposite agent, since, if the speed changes, a changing centrifuge will be applied to the object that will help keep the path simply **uniform**.

The etymology of the word tells us that the word comes from the term * “Centripetal”* which comes from the

In order to calculate the centripetal force, a formula is used

**F = – (m·v ^{2}/r) u_{r }= – m·w^{2}·r = m·a**

**a = – w ^{2}·r**

**Where:**

**F: centripetal force**. The newton (N) is the unit of measurement in the International System (I.S.).**m: Mass of the body**. The kilogram (kg) is the unit of measurement in the International System.**v: velocity module**. It is measured in meters per second (m/s).**ur: radial unit**vector**r: radius**of the circular path**w: angular velocity**measured in rad/s**a: centripetal acceleration**measured in m/s²

The units used to measure the magnitude of **acceleration** are the following:

**International System: m/s**^{2}**CGS: cm/s**^{2}

The **centripetal force** is measured in **newton** (N).

Centripetal force is generally used in **laboratory centrifuges**. Here, particles suspended in a liquid are separated from it by accelerating the oriented tubes so that, heavier particles are directed to the bottom of the tubes.

While centrifuges usually separate solids from liquids, they can also fractionate liquids, such as in **blood samples** or separate **gas** components. Gas centrifuges are used to separate the heavier **isotope** uranium-238 from the lighter isotope uranium-235. The heavier isotope is attracted to the outside of a rotating cylinder. The heavy fraction is rotated and sent to another centrifuge.

A liquid reflector telescope can be made by rotating a liquid reflective metal, such as **mercury**.

The centripetal force is very important because they put and help the objects or bodies to which the **forces** are being applied to achieve **equilibrium** and at the same time, helps to solve different problems with equations.

**Centrifugal** force is the tendency of an object to follow a **curved path** away from the **center** of the same curve. Basically, this is not really a force, but rather a result of **inertia**, which is the tendency of an object to resist change whether it is moving or not.

**Centripetal** force is a real force that has the ability to **counteract** the **centrifugal force** and prevent the body in question from “flying away” because it keeps it **moving** at a constant speed and with a circular trajectory.

Some examples of centripetal force are the following:

- An object that swings on a string. Here, the tension on the rope provides the centripetal “pull” force.
- The force with which the Sun can attract the Earth. This force is responsible for the circular movement of the Earth around the Sun.
- When we attach a ball with a rope and spin it in a circle at a constant angular velocity. The ball moves in a circular path because the rope exerts a centripetal force on it.
- On a roller coaster, the cart turns completely and at that moment the centripetal force is provided by the weight of the cart and the passengers.
- A sling in this case, the centripetal force is transmitted by the straps that hold the stone.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). *Centripetal force*. Recovered on 8 March, 2023, de Euston96: https://www.euston96.com/en/centripetal-force/