Centrifugal Force

Centrifugal Force

The concept of centrifugal force rarely comes with an instruction manual like the Coriolis force and the inertial force, centrifugal force belongs to the category of fictitious forces, also called apparent forces or pseudo-forces.

What is Centrifugal Force?

A force is any cause capable of changing the speed or trajectory of a mass. Centrifugal means ‘which takes away from the centre’.

Centrifugal Force

Thus, according to the definition, a force qualified as centrifugal must be able to push away a mass from any centre or axis of rotation along a radial trajectory, i.e. in the direction indicated by the extension of a radius.

If an object moving in a circle and experiences an outward force, then this force is called as the centrifugal force. However, the force also depends on the mass of the object, the distance from the centre of the circle and also the speed of rotation.

If the object has more mass, the force of the movement and the speed of the object will be greater. If the distance is far from the centre of the circle the force of the movement will be more.

Formula of Centrifugal Force:

Centrifugal Force (Fc) = mv²/r


Fc = Centrifugal Force

m = mass

v = speed

r = radius.