A college student in mine office temporarily confused the words centripetal and also centrifugal. This started me thinking about these 2 words. Lock mean different things, but do sound and look similar.

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A college student in mine office temporarily puzzled the words centripetal and centrifugal. This began me thinking about these two words. They mean different things, but do sound and look similar. I have previously talked about the difference in between fake and also non-fake forces, however let me quickly specify these two:

Centripetal: This is the pressure needed to do something relocate in a circle. The force might actually be a variety of things together as: friction, gravity, anxiety in a rope or any kind of combination. Centripetal force is a surname for a real pressure that has the function of making something relocate in a circle. This force is always directed towards the center of the circle of motion.

So, the two vital differences: centripetal is real and pushing towards the center of the circle. Centrifugal is fake and alienates from the center. To look up their word-origins, I used the online Etymology Dictionary. An initial I looked up "centripetal".


Centripetal: coined 1687 by Isaac Newton native the latin centri definition "center" and petere "to fall, rush out" (see petition)


Centrifugal: coined 1687 through Isaac Newton from the latin centri and also fugere definition "to flee" (like fugitive)


The difficulty is that these two beginnings seem to say the same thing. Center and fall or flee, i beg your pardon I analyze as "away from". Not good. If friend look in ~ the other interpretations that petition, it states "a request, solicitation". Also, "to require, seek, go forward". This is better. Centripetal force is the pressure REQUIRED because that circular motion. Centrifugal pressure is the pressure that renders something flee native the center.


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Rhett Allain is an combine professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University. He enjoys teaching and talking about physics. Sometimes he takes points apart and can't placed them back together.

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