# There is no such thing as centrifugal force!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DRZ, 11 Jul 2006.

1. DRZ

# Location: In the top 1%

Thats right, you have been "lied to" for all of these years. I keep seeing it referred to all over the place and it simply does not exist!

When I was in school which wasnt terribly long ago, it was made absolutely clear that there is no such thing.

Were you taught that it existed in school? Do you just use it anyway because so many other ill-educated people also use it?

/rant [but it is something that annoys me for no real reason]

2. Raikiri

3. Aod

# Location: London

wrong. there is such thing. its just not often observed.

what is often observed and alledgedly called centrifugal force is actually centripedal force.

Last edited: 11 Jul 2006
4. Beansprout

# Location: Plymouth

Exactly. So it doesn't exist.

</pedant>

5. Aod

# Location: London

did i say never observed?

no, i don't think i did.

6. DRZ

# Location: In the top 1%

It of course does exist as a notion (it is the exact opposite of centripetal force) but in as far as what most people see it does not exist. A centrifuge uses centripetal force, but I suppose calling it a centripete might not have the same ring to it

7. lay-z-boy

# Location: Nantwich

our physics teacher always exploded when someone said centrifugal instead of centripedal.

Good times.

8. DRZ

# Location: In the top 1%

May I ask what "centripedal force" is? Something to do with a bicycle?

9. Energize

10. SiriusB

# Location: Manchester

Wow I'm not the only one!

I found out about this in my A-Level physics. I tried explaining it to my mother once... I got an odd look and then told to go away. I even tried explaining it to some of my mates... more odd looks

SiriusB

11. calnen

# Location: Chester

I think the correct term is centripeTal acceleration (or force), rather than centripedal. Maybe thats an Americanisation? We were always taught it with a t, anyway.

To the OP, basically until year 9 Physics in school thats what they call it. They only correct you at GCSE (to prevent confusing the little kiddies..) and as a lot of people quit science before GCSEs (or just dont pay any attention to them ) they'll continue to be wrong.

12. DRZ

# Location: In the top 1%

Obviously sarcasm is lost in GD when in the small hours

I was making a point by my last post, thats all.

For some unkown reason this particular confusion (centrifugal/centripetal) annoys me. I saw it mentioned somewhere else and was compelled to post, thats all.

13. alexakasloth

# Location: Newhaven, Sussex.

*sees forces and science*
*realises I suck at science*
*steps out of thread*

14. AJUK

# Posts: 10,949

I was taught that it is only a percieved force as a reaction to centripedal force back in my school days and I am much older than you. In fact I left school the same year you were born.

However, I did go to a proper grammar school that insisted on real education like times tables and daily canings. I also have an engineering degree and nothing changed during that part of my education.

15. Freefaller

# Location: Falling...

Centrapetal force =

Centrafugal force =

My physics teacher always got very cross with us about it.

16. VIRII

# Posts: 30,259

I can rotate a small mass at over 200g on my centrifuge
I think the only fair way to settle the argument would be to sit you in it and spin it up. If at 6g you still care if the force is centripetal or centrifugal we can up it a notch until you no longer care

17. VIRII

# Posts: 30,259

/cheers AJUK.

18. laissez-faire

# Location: Edinburgh/Southampton

Doing a degree in Physics at Edinburgh we were told that the Centrifugal force is the normal reaction to the centripetal force... It does exist.

19. JRS

# Location: Burton-on-Trent

From the comic genious of xkcd:

20. aardvark

# Location: leeds

yep, this mans right - they both exist.