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Centrifugal Forces Someone explain, please.

  1. Jun 26, 2004 #1

    JasonRox

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    I'll start with Centripetal.

    When you spin a bucket with water up and down, Centripetal Force is acting on the water to keep it in.

    I know what a Centrifuge is, and what it does, but what is Centrifugal Force.

    It's something like particles of water pushing to the bottom of the bucket or something.

    Can someone clear this up please?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2004 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    "Centifugal force" is a "fictious" force- it isn't really a force.

    Anything, including a bucket and the water in it, will move in a straight line unless acted on by a force. In order to make the bucket and water move in a circle, we have to apply a constant force on them, at right angles to their motion- what you correctly call "centripetal" force (although you say "Centripetal Force is acting on the water to keep it in"- do you understand that the centripetal force is acting toward the center of the circle?).

    We feel the force we have to apply to the bucket as a force of the bucket on us: "Centrifugal force" but it is the centripetal force that is real.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2004 #3

    JasonRox

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    LOL. I was going to mention that! Why didn't that book say that.

    Thanks, it clears up now.
     
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