Centripetal And Centrifugal Force

For every objects the force is required to travel. The force acts differently depending on which type of frame to which object is observed. The main difference between centrifugal force and centripetal force is that the centripetal force acts towards the centre of the circular path. While, the centrifugal force acts in a direction pointing away from the centre of the circle.

Centripetal And Centrifugal Force

What is Centripetal Force?

If an object accelerates according to the changes of velocity, then it can change either its speed or direction of motion. In simple terms, if any moving object in a circular path is constantly changing its direction means it is constantly accelerating.

Using the Newton’s second law of motion, if an object is travelling in a circular path, it is found that the centripetal force of an object moving in a circular path always acts towards the centre of the circle.

What is Centrifugal Force?

If an object moving in a circle and experiences an outward force, than this force is called as the centrifugal force. However, the force also depends on the mass of the object, the distance from the center of the circle and also the speed of rotation.

If the object has more mass, the force of the movement and the speed of the object will be greater. If the distance is far from the center of the circle the force of the movement will be more.

Formula of Centrifugal Force

\(F_{c}=\frac{mv^{2}}{r}\)

Where,

\(F_{c}\) = Centrifugal force

\(m\) = mass

\(v\) = speed

\(r\) = radius.

Formula of Centripetal Force

\(F=ma_{c}=\frac{mv^{2}}{r}\)

Where,

\(F\) = Centripetal force

\(a_{c}\) = Centripetal acceleration

\(m\) = mass

\(v\) = speed

\(r\) = radius.

Differences and Comparison of Centrifugal Force vs Centripetal Force
Centrifugal Force Centripetal Force
If an object moving in a circle and experiences an outward force, than this force is called as the centrifugal force If the object travels in a uniform speed in a circular path is called centripetal force.
The object has the direction along the center of the circle from center approaching the object The object has the direction along the centre of the circle from the object approaching the center.
Mud flying of a tire is one example of the centrifugal force. Satellite orbiting a planet is an example of the centripetal force.


Practise This Question

A 1 kg block collides with a horizontal light spring of force constant 2 N/m. The block compresses the spring m from rest position. Assuming that the coefficient of kinetic friction between the block and the horizontal surface is 0.25. What was the speed of the block at the instant of collision?