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What is the centrifugal force?

What is the centrifugal force?

Grade:Upto college level

1 Answers

askIITIians Expert
21 Points
12 years ago

Centrifugal Force

Suppose a block mass m lying on a horizontal, frictionless turntable is connected to a string as in figure. According to an inertial observer, if the block rotates uniformly, it undergoes an acceleration of magnitude  v2/r, where v is its tangenial speed. The inertial observer concludes that this centripetal acceleration is provided by the force exerted by the string T, and writes Newton’s second law T = mv2/r.


According to non – inertial observer attached to the turntable, the block is at rest. Therefore, in applying Newton’s second law, this observer introduces a fictitious outward force of magnitude mv2/r. According to the non – linear observer, this outward force balances the force exerted by the string and therefore T – mv2/r = 0.

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