Barger, Vernon D. Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:January 2022
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An apparent outward force on a particle rotating about an axis which, by Newton's third law, is equal and opposite to the centripetal force. In classical mechanics, a particle that is rotating about an axis experiences an apparent outward centrifugal force that is solely due to the transformation to the rotating frame of Newton’s law for a non-rotating inertial frame. The centrifugal force is perpendicular to the rotation axis. Familiarly encountered examples of centrifugal force are the experiences of riding in a car moving at considerable speed when it changes direction and the experience of riders on amusement park rides feeling as if they are being "pushed" or "pulled" outward as the ride spins (see illustration). See also: Centripetal force; Classical mechanics; Force; Frame of reference; Fundamental interaction; Newton's laws of motion
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