Centripetal force is the force that keeps a body in a circle. It is also called center seeking force. While A force that keeps a body away from the center of the circle is called centrifugal force. Banking of the roads, washing machine dryer, the cream separator is some examples of centripetal and centrifugal force.

## What is centripetal force?

A **centripetal force** is a force that keeps a body in a curved path. Its direction is always perpendicular to the motion of the body and towards the fixed point of the center of curvature of the path. Sir Isaac Newton explained it as “the force by which objects are drawn, or in any way, towards a point as to a center. In Newtonian mechanics, the force of gravity provides the centripetal force for astronomical orbits.

**Explanation:**

Consider a body moving with uniform speed in a circular path. In this case velocity changes only in direction and not in magnitude. Applying Newton’s first law of motion we find that some external force must be acting on the particle. Without the presence of external force, the velocity can’t change. Since velocity is changing continuously, therefore the external force must be acting continuously.

The direction of external force is such that only the direction of the velocity changes. This is possible only if the force always acts at right angles to the velocity. The direction of the velocity of the body is along the tangent to the circle at every point, so the external force must act at right angles to the tangents to the circle at every point. Since the radius and tangent are always perpendicular to each other, therefore the external force must act along the radius of the circle at every point. In other words, the force is always directed toward the center of the circle at every point. This point is called the centripetal force.

### Equation

Consider an object of mass “m ” moving in a circle of radius “r” with constant speed “v” .The centripetal acceleration “ac” of the object is given as:

### On which factors centripetal force depends?

- It depends on the mass m of the moving body.
- Square of its velocity.
- Reciprocal of the radius of the circle.

### Examples of centripetal force in everyday life

- The moon revolving around the earth is an example of centripetal force.
- The gravitational force of the earth provides the necessary centripetal force.

### Applications of centripetal force in everyday life

There are some applications of centripetal force in our daily life which are given below:

- Banking of roads.
- Washing machine dryer.
- Cream separator.

**What do you mean by the banking of roads?**

Raising the outer edge of the roads is called the banking of roads.

**Why the roads are banked?**

When a car takes a turn, the centripetal force is needed to keep it in its curved track. The friction between the tires and the road provides the needed centripetal force. The car would skid if the force of friction between the tires and the road is not enough particularly when roads are wet. This problem is solved by the banking of curved roads. Banking of a road means that the outer edge of a road is raised. Imagine a vehicle providing the necessary centripetal force while taking a turn. Thus banking of roads prevents the skidding of vehicles and makes driving safe.

**Washing machine dryer:**

The dryer of the washing machine is a basket spinner. It has a perforated wall having a large number of fine holes in the cylindrical rotor. The lid of the container is closed after putting wet clothes in it. When it spins at high speed, the water from wet clothes is forced out through these holes due to a lack of centripetal force.

**What is a Cream separator?**

Most modern plants use separators to control the fact of various products.

**How do we separate cream from milk?**

A separator is a high-speed spinner. It acts on the same principle as centrifuge machines. The bowl spins at a very high speed causing the heavier contents of milk to move outward in the bowl pushing the lighter contents inward towards the spinning axis. The cream is lighter than other components in milk. Therefore, skim milk which is denser than cream is collected at the outer wall of the bowl. The lighter part of the cream is pushed towards the center from where it is collected through the pipe.

## What is centrifugal force?

In Mechanics, the **centrifugal force** is the force, also called a pseudo force that appears to act on all the objects when viewed in the rotating frame of reference. Its direction is away from the axis which is passing from the origin of the coordinate system and is parallel to the axis of rotation. Common examples of centrifugal force are centrifuges, centrifugal pumps, centrifugal governors, centrifugal clutches, and centrifugal railways, planetary orbits, and banked curves.

The reaction of the centripetal force is called the centrifugal force.

**Explanation:**

Consider a stone that is tied to a string moving in a circle. The necessary centripetal force acts on the stone through the string that keeps it moving in a circle.

According to Newton’s third law of motion, there exists a reaction of this centripetal force. The centripetal reaction that pulls the string outward is called centrifugal force.

## Examples of centrifugal force in everyday life

### Centripetal force Vs Centrifugal force

Centripetal force | Centrifugal force |

1: It is the force which keeps the body to move in the circle. | 1: It is the force which keeps the body away from the circle. |

2: It is a real force. | 2: It is a fictitious force. |

3: Its direction is towards the center of the circle. | 3: Its direction is away from the center of the circle. |

4: It is observed in the inertial frame of reference. | 4: It is not observed in the inertial frame of reference. |

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