# Centripetal force

Centripetal force is the force, or component of force, that acts on a moving object on a curvilinear path, and that is directed toward the center of curvature of the path. The term centripetal comes from the Latin words centrum, centro, and petere, be directed towards, and can be obtained from Newton’s laws . The centripetal force always acts perpendicular to the direction of movement of the body on which it is applied. In the case of an object moving in a circular path with velocity changing, the net force on the body can be decomposed into a perpendicular component that changes the direction of movement and a tangential one, parallel to speed, that modifies the modulus of speed.

Any movement on a curved road represents accelerated movement, and therefore requires a force directed toward the center of the road’s curvature. This force is called the centripetal force, which means force looking for the center.

In general, the centrifugal force and the centripetal force have the same modulus but opposite direction. The centripetal force is an action force, directed towards the center of rotation, while the centripetal force is the reaction force in the opposite direction. For a particle of mass m, which pulls a chord of length r and rotates in a circle , an angular velocity W is calculated from the center z by the following expression: where

FMw cp: centripetal force.

M : mass of the particle.

w  : angular velocity.

r : chord length (radius of circle)

## Summary

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• 1 Applications
• 2 Confusion about the term