Centrifugal force is a force that must be included in the calculation of equilibria between forces in a spinning frame of reference, such as that of a rotating space station. In the rotating frame, the forces on a body of mass m are in equilibrium (as evidenced by the body staying at the same place) only if all forces acting on it, plus a centrifugal force mv2/r directed away from the center of rotation, add up to zero. The centrifugal force is often described as being a "fictitious force" in the sense that it is a reaction to the centripetal force needed to keep an object moving on a curved path.
Related category CLASSICAL MECHANICS
Home • About • Copyright © The Worlds of David Darling • Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy • Contact