# Understanding the Concept of Centrifugal Force Made Easy

What is centrifugal force? How can it be measured? What are its characteristics? Let's find the answers to these and many other questions regarding this particular concept of physics.

Ishani Chatterjee Shukla

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2019

*centrifugal*has been coined by combining two distinct Latin words -

*centrum*(meaning

*center*and

*fugere*(meaning

*to escape*) - together. Therefore, it can be roughly defined as a force which escapes from the center of a rotating body in an outward direction, while the object is in circular motion.

Definition

It is the force created when an object is in rotational motion, and this force spreads in an outward direction, causing the central point or axis (imaginary central part) of the object, to experience an inertia-like state.

*centrifugal force represents the effects of inertia that arise in connection with rotation and which are experienced as an outward force away from the center of rotation.*A very good example of this phenomenon is the hammer throw competition in athletics events.

Two Distinct Concepts

There are two distinct concepts of this force - fictitious and reactive centrifugal force. Fictitious centrifugal force defines the force that is produced during the phenomenon of a circular motion, which takes place in a non-inertial reference frame.

Calculation

Centrifugal force can be calculated by the using the following equation as a formula:-

where:

*Fcf = +mv2 / r = +mrw2*

where:

*F*= centrifugal force_{cf}*m*= mass of the object that is in rotation*v*= linear velocity of the rotating object*r*= radius of the curvature*w*= angular velocity of the moving object