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What is Centrifugal force? 
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#1
Nov712, 01:02 PM

P: 62

In physics today, my teacher told me that Centrifugal force is a fake force? Is this true? What exactly is Centrifugal force? Any help would be greatly appreciated!



#2
Nov712, 01:24 PM

HW Helper
P: 7,131

In a rotating frame of reference, centrifugal force is a "fictitious" force used to compensate for the rotating (noninertial) frame. There's also the debatable term "reactive centrifugal force" that refers to the newton 3rd law reaction force exerted by a centripetally accelerated object onto the object producing the centripetal force in an inertial (nonaccelerating) frame. Wiki articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_centrifugal_force 


#3
Nov712, 01:31 PM

P: 657

Its simply the tendency of an object following a curved path to fly away from the center of curvature.
If you need further understanding, there is always the google box :) 


#4
Nov712, 03:05 PM

P: 62

What is Centrifugal force?
So does it actually exist? Why Is it "fictionious"?



#5
Nov712, 04:46 PM

P: 4,059



#6
Nov712, 04:59 PM

HW Helper
P: 7,131

For the less common usage, "reactive centrifugal force" is one of the two newton 3rd law pair of forces involving centripetal acceleration. Say an object is attached to a string and that the object is moving in a circular path. The string exerts a centripetal force onto the object, and the object reacts to the acceleration by exerting an equal but opposing "reactive centrifugal force" onto the string. Note that "fictitious" centrifugal force is one that appears to be exerted onto an object, while "reactive centrifugal force" is a force that the accelerated object exerts onto something else. 


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