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Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces

path body pulling stone

Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces, forces acting on a body as it moves along a curved path. If a stone is whirled in a circular path on a piece of string, it is acted on by a force pulling it toward the center of the circle (centripetal force). The stone also appears to be acted upon by an equal and opposite force pulling it outward (centrifugal force). An example of centripetal force is the force of gravity exerted on the moon by the earth to keep it in orbit. The value of the centripetal force (F) is given by the equation F=mv2/r where m equals the mass of the body, v is its velocity, and r is the radius of curvature of its path.

See also: Inertia; Newton, Sir Isaac.

Centrifuge [next] [back] Central Powers

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