What is centripetal force?
Of Latin origin ‘centrum’ and ‘petere’ which means heading towards the center. It is the force that intervenes on an object that moves with a curvilinear trajectory having as direction the center of the curvature of the trajectory.
It is known as centripetal force when an object moves in a circular fashion, focusing its force towards the center of curvature allowing it to maintain its circular path.
For example, when a vehicle takes a curve, the wheels generate friction with the asphalt, thus preventing us from leaving said curve.
What is centrifugal force?
It is defined as moving away from the center, therefore, it tends to move an object away from the center of rotation in a curvilinear path. Specifically, when an object moves in a curved path, the force pushes the object out.
As exemplified above when a vehicle is in a curve, the force that tries to take it out is called centrifugal force.
Difference between centripetal force and centrifugal force
- The centripetal force allows the curvilinear path of an object and prevents it from going out of its path, while the centrifugal force tries to expel the object out of its path.
- The centripetal force moves an object away from the center that appears when it is in a curvilinear trajectory, while the centrifugal force intervenes on the object that moves and has the center of the trajectory as its direction.
- The centripetal force is opposite to the centrifugal force.