Centrifugal Force Examples in Daily Life

sCentrifugal Force

An outward force is experienced by an object while exhibiting curvilinear motion. This force is known as centrifugal force. It mainly depends on the mass of the object, the distance from the center of the circle, and the speed of rotation. Centrifugal force comes into action as a result of the inertia of the object. The centrifugal force can be calculated as a negative product of mass and tangential velocity divided by the radius of the circle in which the object is moving. Centrifugal force is accountable to drive the object away from the center of the circle. It is often known as a fictitious force.

Examples

1. Banked Roads

Banking of roads is most commonly observed in the hilly areas or in the places that contain sharp curves. While moving advance in such places with speed, a centrifugal force throws the vehicle to the outer side of the road. This is highly undesirable as it leads to accidents and mishappenings. To overcome this problem, the roads are slightly banked on the edges.

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2. Turning Vehicle

While turning a vehicle around a sharp curve, a force is felt by the driver that tends to throw the vehicle towards the outer side. This force is directly proportional to the speed with which the vehicle moves. When the vehicle moves with greater speed, a huge force is felt towards the outer edge of the road. Similarly, the vehicle moving at a slow speed receives less intense centrifugal force.

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3. Weight at Poles and Equator

The centrifugal force is directly proportional to the tangential speed of rotation of the earth. The equator lying at the middle of the earth moves at a faster rate hence, the centrifugal force is high at the equator. The poles do not spin at all, which makes the magnitude of centrifugal force at poles equal to zero. Therefore, the weight of objects is found to be less at the poles and the equator. At the equator, the weight is 9.764 m/s² times the mass of the body, whereas at the poles the weight is 9.863 m/s² times the mass. This is the reason why gold and other precious elements are cheaper in the regions located near the poles or the equator.

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4. A Stone Tied to a Thread

The best and most easily accessible application of centrifugal force can be observed by attaching a stone to a thread and swirling it around. While performing this experiment, a force is felt on the stone that tends to move it away from the center. This force is called the centrifugal force.

The Physics of Swinging a Mass on a String for Fun | WIRED

5. Merry Go Round

The children playing on a merry go round ride experience an outward force that tends to throw them on the outer side. This force grows intense upon increasing the speed of rotation. If the safety precautions are not met properly, this centrifugal force might be responsible for severe accidents.

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6. Centrifugal Pumps

The centrifugal pumps are the most preferred systems in hydraulics. It consists of an impeller, which is thoroughly immersed in water. When the impeller rotates, the fluid present around it also rotates. While the water undergoes rotation, it encounters centrifugal force because the water is thrown to the outward side. This causes pressure and kinetic energy to rise. A low pressure is developed at the center of the rotating impeller blades. Therefore, the water from the container is easily drawn out.

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7. Washing Machine

A washing machine is the most popular consumer electronic gadgets that employ centrifugal force for its operation. The rotating mechanism of the machine is responsible to push the clothes, water, and dirt particles to the outer side of the drum. This dirt then gets collected in the pouch attached to the inner side of the container. Hence, the clothes get cleaned properly.

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8. Centrifugal Clutches

A centrifugal clutch is an automatic clutch that is controlled by the engine speed by means of the gas pedal. It consists of a driving mechanism, which is connected to the shaft and a transmission mechanism. When the engine rotates, the driving mechanism is subjected to rotation via the shaft. The shoes and the spider present on the inner side experience a centrifugal force and they tend to move away from the center. However, they are held in position with the help of springs attached to them. On increasing the engine speed, the centrifugal force increases. Thus, the clutching operation is effectively performed.

 

9. Swinging Fair Ride

A swinging fair ride consist of a huge rotating head pivoted on a cylindrical pole. A number of swings are attached to the base of the rotating head. When this arrangement is subjected to rotational motion, the swings attached to the bottom of the ride move away from the center. This creates a fancy and thrilling motion in the attached swings, which is enjoyable to most people.

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10. Planetary Orbits 

The planets moving around the sun maintain their rotational motion and do not fall in the center. This is because a significant amount of centrifugal force is experienced by all the celestial bodies that are revolving around the sun. Hence, centrifugal force is important in maintaing the planetary orbits. This phenomena is also responsible to suggest the notion of expansion of the universe and the story of its origin.

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