What is a centripetal force?

When an object is moving in a circular path it experiences an inward force called centripetal force. So, “What is a centripetal force?”. Centripetal force is the force that acts on the body to keep it moving in a curved path. Centripetal force is an actual force that is directed inward towards the centre of rotation. In simple words, while twirling an object tied to a string, the string will exert an inward centripetal force on the object. The centripetal force always acts perpendicular to the direction of displacement of the object. 


The centripetal force is given by the formula


Where F= centripetal force

m = mass of the rotating object

V = velocity or speed of the object

r= radius

The unit of centripetal force is Newton.


Some of the examples of centripetal force are listed below

  1. Spinning a ball on a string
  2. Turning a car on a curved road
  3. Going through a loop on a roller coaster
  4. Planets orbiting the sun


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