What is Centrifugal Force?

"Force" is a push or a pull which changes the motion, or movement, of object. When you push a chair, you are exerting force on it. When you stop pushing, the chair stops moving. But suppose you roll a ball along the ground. It keeps on rolling after you have stopped pushing it. Why?

The explanation for this (developed by Sir Isaac Newton, the first scientist to explain the theories of force) is the idea of "inertia". Inertia makes an object keep up whatever motion it has. Every bit of matter has inertia and will keep moving in a straight line at the same speed unless another force changes its motion.

For examples, if you are riding in a because of of its inertia it wil keep on going forward at the same speed the bus was traveling. Now let us get to centrifugal force, all of us have experienced this force. We notice it whenever an object travels in a curved in path. Let us probably find yourself falling off the seat in to the aisle! The reason is centrifugal force.


Centrifugal force can be explained by using the idea of inertia. When the bus turns, inertia tends to keep your body moving in a straight line. So you tend to move toward the outside of the curve so as to keep your original straight motion. Centrifugal force always seems to push objects to the outside of the curve.

This is why main roads are often tilted around a turn; why aeroplane bank when they turn; and why, when you are riding a bicycle, you lean inward! This leaning inward, and the banking of roads and aeroplane, helps to balance centrifugal force, which would otherwise tend to hurl objects outward. The leaning inward balances the tendency to move outward and you can make the turn properly.

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