An introduction to the science of centrifugal force

Introduction[ edit ] Centrifugal force is an outward force apparent in a rotating reference frame. All measurements of position and velocity must be made relative to some frame of reference. For example, an analysis of the motion of an object in an airliner in flight could be made relative to the airliner, to the surface of the Earth, or even to the Sun.

An introduction to the science of centrifugal force

Conversely, they do not appear to be true in… A stone whirling in a horizontal plane on the end of a string tied to a post on the ground is continuously changing the direction of its velocity and, therefore, has an acceleration toward the post.

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This acceleration is equal to the square of its velocity divided by the length of the string. If the stone is moving at a constant speed and gravity is neglected, the inward-pointing string tension is the only force acting on the stone. If the string breaks, the stone, because of inertiawill keep on going in a straight line tangent to its previous circular path; it does not move in the outward direction as it would if the centrifugal force were real.

In a frame of reference attached to the whirling stone, the stone is at rest; to obtain a balanced force system, the outward-acting centrifugal force must be included. Centrifugal force can be increased by increasing either the speed of rotation or the mass of the body or by decreasing the radius, which is the distance of the body from the centre of the curve.

Increasing the mass or decreasing the radius increases the centrifugal force in direct or inverse proportion, respectively, but increasing the speed of rotation increases it in proportion to the square of the speed; that is, an increase in speed of 10 times, say from 10 to revolutions per minute, increases the centrifugal force by a factor of Centrifugal force is expressed as a multiple of g, the symbol for normal gravitational force strictly speaking, the acceleration due to gravity.


Centrifugal fields of more than 1,,g have been produced in the laboratory by devices called centrifuges. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.

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We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Key concepts Physics Forces Motion Centrifugal force Circular motion Acceleration Introduction Have you ever wondered what keeps you in your seat when you're riding a giant loop-de-loop roller.

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An introduction to the science of centrifugal force

Currently, science knows of precious few methods of simulating gravity on a spacecraft.. These boil down to: using acceleration by thrusting the ship, spinning the ship (or sections of the ship) to utilize "centrifugal force", or placing a large mass under the ship (generally by landing on a planet)..

Centrifugal compressor - Wikipedia

Centrifugal force is the method of choice for obvious reasons. Sep 03,  · Learn why a centripetal force exists, three important things to remember about centripetal force, and drawing free body diagrams for objects moving in circles.

An introduction to the science of centrifugal force

Understanding the limits of fine particle flotation is the key to the selective separation of fine mineral particles. Fine particles have low collision efficiencies with gas bubbles and float slowly.

centrifugal force - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics