|Mar20-04, 01:34 PM||#1|
Back in my first physics class in college, a few years ago, my prof said that centrifugal force does not exist, and something about there is something called the centrifugal force effect that we seem to think we feel, but it really is centripetal force.
I took this as physics dogma, and today I spouted my mouth off while watching a TV show, and everyone thought I was lying so I looked it up in my physics book, and centrifugal force was no where to be found, which was good for me. Then I looked on the net, and found tons of mentions of it.
I found definitions of centrifugal force ranging from a group of gay men that practice beating drums to the definition that blew me (no pun intended) out of the water. One paper I read on centrifugal force said that it is not the fictitious force that people think it is, and that it does exist. It just doesn't exist in inertial frames, but in accelerated frames, it does. I'm assuming this is a SR connection.
So my question is what is centrifugal force, does it exist, and what equation do you use to "measure" it?
Thank you kindly,
|Mar20-04, 10:12 PM||#2|
Centrifugal force has nothing to do with relativity. It is simply a manifestation of the law of inertia (things like to go in straight lines at constant speed). When you whirl something around on a string, you are exerting a force (centripetal) to keep it from flying off. The tendency to fly off is centrifugal force, i.e. it wants to go in a straight line and you are keeping it in a circular path.
|Mar23-04, 11:02 AM||#3|
|Mar23-04, 11:37 AM||#4|
From A Brief Outline of the Development of the Development of the Theory or Relativity, Albert Einstein, Nature, February 17, 1921
From Newtonian Mechanics, A.P. French, The M.I.T. Introductory Physics Series, W.W. Norton Pub. , (1971) , page 499.
See also Cosmological Physics, John A. Peacock, page 6-7
To answer your question: The centrifugal force is an inertial force. If you want too know if it exists or not then you need to ask a philosopher. [:D]
For more on gravitational forces in GR please see
|Mar24-04, 01:19 AM||#5|
If you are in a rotating cylinder - and didn't know it, you would find a mysterious pseudo force pressing you against the wall of the cylinder - your body wants to go in a straignt line, but can't because its being forced to move in a circle by the walls of the rotating cylinder. So you could consider yourself as being centrifuged - but from the standpoint of there being an independent force other than centripital, there is none in the usual context of mechanical physics.
Feynman in his first volume suggested that gravity might be a pseudo force - these forces are always proportional to mass just as is gravity and inertia. Feynman then muses that perhaps we experience gravity because in some way we may not exist in an inertial frame.
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