Centrifugal Force-Definition, Formula, Principle, Examples (Vs Centripetal Force)

Centrifugal force definition

  • An item travelling in a circular motion away from the centre of rotation experiences centrifugal force, which is an imaginary force acting from the outside.
  • This force has a direction that is opposite to the axis of rotation and runs parallel to it.
  • The centrifugal force and the centripetal force, which act in the direction of the centre of a circular route, are equivalent in strength and size.
  • Because it only operates when there is a centripetal force, it is known as a fake force. This force is the outcome of the body’s inertial attributes, which causes it to move in a circular motion.
  • However, the force is affected by the object’s mass, its distance from the centre, and the rate of rotation.
  • Numerous spinning machines, including centrifuge rotors, banked highways, and centrifugal pumps, utilise the idea of centrifugal force.
  • The unit of centrifugal force is Newton, and the dimensional formula is M1L1T-2.

Centrifugal force formula

The following is the centrifugal force calculation formula.

The formula below may be used to determine the centrifugal force if the moving object’s velocity is known.

 r is the distance of the moving body from the centre, m is the mass of the moving body, and v is the speed of the moving body.

The formula may be used to determine the centrifugal force if the angular velocity of the moving item is known.

where is the angular velocity, r is the moving body’s distance from the centre, and m is its mass.

Principle of Centrifugal force

  • As was previously mentioned, the centrifugal force is fictional or faux, since it only manifests itself in the presence of a centripetal force.
  • The centripetal force, which works on all the vehicle’s parts, propels an automobile by turning the wheel while carrying people.
  • However, as the automobile starts to spin, the occupants preserve their freedom of movement and keep moving in a straight line.
  • The centripetal force is transmitted to the passengers as a result of the passengers’ moving toward the edge of the seat and the door.
  • The centrifugal force is what pushes the car’s occupants out of it.
  • According to Newton’s second rule of motion, since acceleration is generated by force, Newton’s law of motion does not recognise this force as a genuine one.
  • When a stone at the end of a rope attached to a ground-based pole is spun, the direction of the stone’s velocity continuously changes, resulting in acceleration.
  • The stone will typically maintain its momentum and continue in a straight line perpendicular to the circular route if the string breaks.
  • The stone wouldn’t be travelling tangentially if the centrifugal force were actually there; it would be going outward. 

How is centrifugal force calculated?

Let’s use the same illustration of the stone at the end of the string that is fastened to the pole for this. The steps listed below can be used to determine the centrifugal force the stone was subjected to:

  1. Calculate the stone’s mass (m). Consider a mass of 5 kg.
  2. Determine the length of the string. Say the length is 10 metres.
  3. Calculate the stone’s speed. Take 5 m/s for the tangential force as an example. Either tangential velocity (v) or angular velocity () can be used to describe the velocity. The tangential velocity may be determined using the formula v = r if the velocity is the angular velocity.Utilizing the formula provided, determine the centrifugal force:

v = ω × r

  1. How to calculate centrifugal force

The centrifugal force will be 12.5 N as a result.

Applications of Centrifugal force

Newton’s law has several uses, even if it does not see the centrifugal force as a genuine one:

  • The concept of centrifugal force underlies how centrifuges work. A hydrostatic pressure gradient perpendicular to the axis of rotation is created in the tubes by the centrifugal force generated by the rotors. Larger buoyant forces, as a result, cause the denser particles to migrate outward while the less dense particles are pushed inward. According to their densities, particles may be separated using this concept.
  • The centrifugal governor is a device that controls an engine’s speed by causing the fuel or working liquid to move radially under the influence of centrifugal force.
  • In spinning space stations, artificial gravity is produced by centrifugal forces. These stations aid in the simulative research of other plants’ gravitational effects.
  • The centrifugal force generated by the rotating rotor of a washing machine leads the clothing to move away from the centre. Also utilising centrifugal force are dryers for washing machines. As a result, water is driven out of the wet clothing through the chamber’s openings.
  • In a variety of rides at theme parks, centrifugal forces are employed to propel riders up off the machine’s bottom while pushing them up against the wall.

Examples of Centrifugal force

  • In many processes in our daily lives, centrifugal force may be observed; a few examples are provided below:
  • Centrifugal force is demonstrated by the force that pushes a car’s passengers outwards as the vehicle turns.
  • Centrifugal force is also what causes the force on the hands when a stone on a string is spun in a circle.
  • Because the centrifugal force acting on the particles at the equator is greatest there, the planet is flattened at the pole and bulged there.
  • Water in a bucket filled with water does not fall when the bucket is turned in a circle because the centrifugal force acting on the bucket balances the weight of the bucket.
  • Due to centrifugal force, mud that has become trapped on automobile wheels is hurled tangentially towards the direction of the mudguard.

Centrifugal force vs Centripetal force

Basis of comparison Centripetal force Centrifugal force
Definition Centripetal force is the force acting on a body moving in a circular path along the radius of the circular path and is directed towards the center of the circle. Centrifugal force is an outward fictitious force that is experienced by an object moving in a circular path directed away from the center of rotation.
Nature It is a real force and has real effects. It is considered a fictitious or pseudo force but has real effects.
Direction It is directed towards the center of the circle of rotation. It is directed away from the center of the circle of rotation.
Role A circular motion doesn’t exist without centripetal force. Centrifugal force doesn’t have an independent existence.
Origin The origin of the centrifugal force is due to the interaction between two objects. The origin of the centrifugal force is due to inertia.
Action The centripetal force acts in both inertial and non-inertial frames. Centrifugal force acts only in the rotating frame (non-inertial frames).

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