Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

# Difference Between Centripetal and Centrifugal Force

centripetal vs centrifugal force

Centripetal force and centrifugal force is said to be the same force that acts in opposite directions. While centripetal force focuses towards the centre of a rotating path, the centrifugal force is just opposite to this, meaning it exerts a force to liberate a body from its rotating path.

In simple terms, centripetal force is an inward force and centrifugal force is an outward force. For example, if you are rotating a stone tied to a thread, then the force that acts on the centre of the axis of the rotation is the centripetal force. Centrifugal force is that which pulls away from the middle due to the inertia of the object. Here the pull on the rope is the centripetal force. Another example that is seen in nature is the revolving of the moon around the earth. The force of gravity between the earth and the moon is the centripetal force.

Centrifugal force is often referred to as inertial force or fictitious force and is mainly used to refer to the force that is related to motion in a non-inertial reference frame.

According to Newton’s third law, every action has an opposite and equal reaction. And in this concept, centrifugal force is said to be an equal and opposite reaction to the centripetal force.

Both centripetal and centrifugal have been derived from Latin. Centripetal has been derived from the latin words centrum, which means centre and petere, which means to seek. Centrifugal has been derived from the latin words centrum and fugere, which means to flee.

Summary

1. While centripetal force focuses towards the centre of a rotating path, the centrifugal force is just opposite to this, meaning it exerts a force to liberate a body from its rotating path.
2. Centripetal force is an inward force and centrifugal force is an outward force.
3. Centrifugal force is often referred to as inertial force or fictitious force.
4. Centrifugal force is said to be an equal and opposite reaction to the centripetal force.
5. Centripetal has been derived from the latin words centrum, which means centre and petere, which means to seek. Centrifugal has been derived from the latin words centrum and fugere, which means to flee.
6. If you are rotating a stone tied to a thread, then the force that acts on the centre of the axis of the rotation is the centripetal force. Centrifugal force is that which pulls away from the middle due to the inertia of the object.

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