centripetal force

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to centripetal force: centripetal acceleration

centripetal force

a force that acts inwards on any body that rotates or moves along a curved path and is directed towards the centre of curvature of the path or the axis of rotation

Centripetal force

The inward force required to keep a particle or an object moving in a circular path. It can be shown that a particle moving in a circular path has an acceleration toward the center of the circle along a radius. See Acceleration

This radial acceleration, called the centripetal acceleration, is such that, if a particle has a linear or tangential velocity v when moving in a circular path of radius R, the centripetal acceleration is v2/R. If the particle undergoing the centripetal acceleration has a mass M, then by Newton's second law of motion the centripetal force FC is in the direction of the acceleration. This is expressed by the equation below,

where ω is the constant angular velocity and is equal to v/R. From Newton's laws of motion it follows that the natural motion of an object is one with constant speed in a straight line, and that a force is necessary if the object is to depart from this type of motion. Whenever an object moves in a curve, a centripetal force is necessary. In circular motion the tangential speed is constant but is changing direction at the constant rate of ω, so the centripetal force along the radius is the only force involved.

centripetal force

A force, such as gravitation, that causes a body to deviate from motion in a straight line to motion along a curved path, the force being directed toward the center of curvature of the body's motion. The force reacting against this constraint, i.e. the force equal in magnitude but opposite in direction, is the centrifugal force. The centrifugal force results from the inertia of all solid bodies, i.e. their resistance to acceleration, and unlike gravitational or electrical forces, cannot be considered a real force. The centripetal force is equal to the product of the mass of the body and its centripetal acceleration. The latter is the acceleration toward the center, and for a body moving in a circle at a constant angular velocity ω it is given by ω2r , where r is the radius.

Centripetal Force


the force that acts on a mass point in the direction of the principal normal to the point’s trajectory and is directed toward the center of curvature. If the point moves in a circle, the centripetal force is directed toward the center of the circle. Numerically, the centripetal force that acts on a point of mass m moving with a velocity v is equal to mv2/ρ, where ρ is the radius of curvature of the point’s trajectory. Under the action of a centripetal force, the motion of a free mass point is curvilinear. During rectilinear motion, the centripetal force is equal to zero.

centripetal force

[‚sen′trip·əd·əl ′fȯrs]
The radial force required to keep a particle or object moving in a circular path, which can be shown to be directed toward the center of the circle.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a crisis, particularly in one that is high-stakes and visible, one might most expect the centripetal forces that Savoie describes to overcome Trudeau's personal commitment to rational management.
However, if they are going to be a source of centripetal force, The Omron Principles must also transcend personal and business interests.
The centripetal force generated causes the solids to collect on the walls of the vessel while clarified liquid flows over adjustable plate dams into the casing before exiting the machine.
For example, the force of attraction between physical spaces of the Earth and Moon is equal to the centripetal force, which pulls the Moon from the Earth [F attraction (Fa) = F centripetal (Fc)].
Without a critical framework of child murder that moves beyond a "bewildering excess of meanings," the reader loses the sense of any necessary centripetal force keeping all of these examples together within the pages of the same book.
wherefore the centripetal being much greater than the centrifugal Force of the Parts of the Earth, taking in likewise the Atmosphere, is one main reason that it never loses any of its Matter, and that it always continues of the same Bulk or Dimensions, the centripetal Force of Gravity detains the Several Bodys in their Orbit, being considerably stronger than the centrifugal Force of Motion, by which they strive to fly off in the Tangent.
Third, a center of gravity exerts a certain centripetal force that tends to hold an entire system or structure together; thus a blow at the center of gravity would throw an enemy off balance or even cause the entire system (or structure) to collapse.
The Canadian military is too small and ineffective to generate much centripetal force, having long since retreated behind America's good will, large military, and nuclear umbrella.
Such forces on a roller coaster are centripetal force, free fall, and the two forces combined.
During your time with the wacky professors you'll learn about the vastness of space, propulsion, Newton's Laws of Motion, Centripetal Force, and living in space.
An equal amount of centripetal force (an inward pulling by the runner) is necessary to resist the outward pull.