15+ Centripetal Force Examples, Critical FAQs


Centripetal force is a force that we encounter in everyday life. We’ll discuss 15 examples of centripetal force in real life in this post.

Spinning a ball on string:

Consider having a tennis ball connected to a piece of string and swinging it in a circle. As you continue to swing the ball, the tangential velocity of the ball changes direction. This shows that the ball is speeding up, and the centripetal force is the cause of this. It is the strain on the string that provides the centripetal force, which drives the ball toward the centre. 

centripetal force examples
centripetal force examples

Swinging:

The entire swing may be thought of as a segment of a circle. If centripetal force is absent, a person may not maintain the circular motion and falls due to centrifugal force. In the case of swinging, centripetal force is provided by the tension of the rope.

Image credit:Photo by Aaron Burden on StockSnap

Merry-go-round:

Merry-go-round is nothing but a moving disk. The child sitting on that disc is at rest, but due to the circular motion of the disc, he is relatively moving. Support present on the disc provides children centripetal force, making them on a moving disc.

Image credits:anonymous, Merry-go-round, CC BY-SA 3.0

Going through roller coaster loop:

The Roller coaster’s track is curved and has sharp turns. The seat or wall pushes you towards the center when you ride on a roller coaster, but the normal force provides the centripetal force and keeps you along the curved track.

Centripetal force on roller coaster track

Image credit:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/CoasterH%3D2.5r.gif

Driving vehicle on the circular path:

At whatever point we turn, we are going through a circular motion as the direction of speed continuously changes, due to which there will be continuous acceleration. Roads are inclined at some angle to assist the vehicle in turning at high speed, so the car does not float off due to its inertia. The friction force and the component of the normal force produce the centripetal force, which prevents cars from floating off of roads.

Driving car on circular path

Banked turn in aeronautics:

While turning, the aircraft’s wings should be heading in the direction of the desired turn,known as banked turn. When it makes a turn, the horizontal component of the lift acting on an aircraft causes centripetal acceleration when it makes a turn because at that height, there is no frictional force present. When the turn has finished, the aircraft will move back to the wings-level situation to continue the straight flight.

Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/1403/840056379_720a37660f_b.jpg

Planets revolving around the sun:

The Sun’s gravitational pull generates centripetal force across the solar system.The planets would travel in a straight line if the sun’s centripetal force were not present. The planets’ velocities are so great that they accelerate towards the sun without ever departing their orbits.Because of the sun’s tremendous gravitational force, the planets do not crash into the sun.

Washing machine dryer:

The centripetal force between your clothes and the interior of the drum pushes them around in a circle. Because the water can pass right through the drum holes, there’s nothing to give it the same type of shove. The clothing is subjected to centripetal force, but the water is not. The water flows in a straight path through the perforations while the garments spin in a circle. And that’s how you get your clothes to dry.

 Salad spinner:

The salad is pushed toward the center of rotation by the spinner’s outer wall, but the water is not affected since it may flow through the pores in the outside wall, separating water from the salad.

 Tetherball:

Tetherball is a fun game where two players hit the ball hard enough to go around the pole. The orbit of the ball rises higher off the ground each time a player strikes it. Tetherball motion is regulated by two forces: tension force and gravity. The net force, or centripetal force, is generated when these two forces combine. When the ball moves faster, it requires more centripetal force, which is provided by tension force.

Image Credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/4040/4662194106_79094fc37a_b.jpg

Examples of centripetal force in sports:

Athletics hammer throw and shot put:

In a shot put or hammer throw competition, a competitor must throw an item the farthest distance possible. When throwing the hammer or shot put, the athlete uses a centripetal force, which is produced by tension in the rope or by hand, to accelerate the object out of the circular motion and into a specified direction. This is a classic example examples of centripetal force in sports.

Image credit: https://freesvg.org/img/1546461540.png

Tornado in the bottle:

Because of the “centripetal force,” which draws objects and liquids toward the centre of their circular paths, your bottle has a tornado. The vortex is created when the water in your bottle spins toward the centre of the container.

Image credits: https://live.staticflickr.com/2657/4079380292_eba76a6227_b.jpg

Gravitron:

Centripetal force is used by the Gravitron. It’s like attaching a string to an object and spinning it around your brain. It follows a circular pattern thanks to the string. The most notable difference is that with a Gravitron, you are held from behind by a wall rather than a rope from the center.

Centripetal force is provided by the tensile strength of the metal that binds the rotor to the wall.

Electrons revolving around the nucleus:

Electrons not only spin on their own axis but also move around the nucleus in a circular motion. Electrons, despite their incredible mobility, are extremely stable. Nucleus-electron electrostatic interaction is responsible for electron stability. This electrostatic force generates the centripetal force required for electrons to revolve around the nucleus.

To examine blood samples:

Medical centrifuges use centripetal force to speed the precipitation of suspended particles in blood. Using a centrifuge to accelerate a blood sample (600 to 2000 times its usual gravity acceleration) prevents blood cells from settling with the overall blood sample. Here, the heavier red blood cells will sink to the bottom of the tube, and other components will settle in layers based on their densities.Hence, it is now possible to separate blood cells and other components easily.

Frequently asked questions on Centripetal Force Examples:

Q. Define centripetal force, with example.

Ans. The force exerted on a rotating body along the radius of a circular path is known as centripetal force.  For example, The centripetal force, which keeps the planets revolving around the sun, is the force of gravitational pull towards the sun.

Q.What are the examples of centrifugal force in everyday life?

Ans. Examples of centrifugal force are given below:

  • Mud flying off tire
  • Drifting
  • Centrifugal pumps

Q. What is the difference between centripetal and centrifugal force?

Ans. The difference between centripetal and centrifugal force is expressed as follows:

Centripetal forceCentrifugal force
At each point along a circular path, an object is subjected to centripetal force, which is an inward force acting on the object.At each point along a circular path, an object is subjected to centrifugal force, which is an outward force acting on the object.
It is directed towards the centre or more precisely axis of rotation.It is directed towards the object or more precisely away from  the axis of rotation.
This is the real force that keeps objects flying out.This is pseudo force.
Example: planets orbiting around the sunExample: mud flying off a tire

Q. What is the direction of centripetal force?

Ans.  Direction of centripetal force is given as below:

Direction of rotation has no impact on the direction of centripetal force, which is along the circle’s radius, to push the object towards the centre.

Q. Is centripetal force constant?

Ans.The force applied on the body is considered to be constant if it does not change over time.

 The centripetal force remains constant during the whole motion. Like a satellite revolving around the planet under a constant gravitational field which provides the centripetal force.

Q. Why does centripetal force act in the solar system?

Ans. We can see centripetal force in the solar system, and it plays an essential function.

 In the solar system, the strong gravitational force of the sun provides centripetal force. The planets would travel in a straight line if the sun’s centripetal force were not present. 

Q. Does the centripetal force push outward?

Ans. Body is kept on a circular path by centripetal force, which pulls it towards the centre.

When mass appears to push outward due to inertia, centripetal force forces it inward to follow a curved path in a rotating system.

Q. What is the importance of centripetal force?

Ans. Centripetal force comes in real life when circular motion is there.

Centripetal force and tangential velocity are perpendicular to each other, hence objects can change direction without affecting magnitude.This means without centripetal force, and an object can’t maintain circular motion.

Q. How to find the centripetal force of the planets?

Ans. The pull of gravity of the sun generates centripetal force on planets orbiting the sun.

Thus,

This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

Where, This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

And, This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

Thus, by equating both forces and putting values in the gravitational force equation we can find centripetal force.

Q. What is the relationship between centripetal force and frequency?

Ans. We know that centripetal force is given by,

This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

But v = r⍵ 

This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

Where, ⍵ angular frequency of rotating object

And ⍵ = 2?f

This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

Where, f is the frequency of rotating object

This is the required equation for relation between centripetal force and frequency.

Q. What are the characteristics of centripetal force?

Ans. Characteristics of centripetal force is given as:

  • Centripetal force is the real force provided by gravitational force, frictional force, electromagnetic force, etc.
  • It is the centripetal force that causes objects to move in a circle.
  • It is constantly pointing in the direction of the center of the circular route.
  • The sense of rotation in the body has no impact on the direction of centripetal force.
  • Both centripetal force and displacement are always perpendicular to one another. Therefore the work it does is always zero.
  • Similarly, the torque generated by it in the centre of the circular route is also zero.

Q. What is the similarity between centripetal and centrifugal?

Ans. Similarity between centripetal and centrifugal force is given below:

Both the forces centripetal and centrifugal are in opposite directions to each other but the magnitudes of centripetal and centrifugal forces are identical.

Q. How does radius, speed, mass affect centripetal force?

Ans. The radius of the circular path is inversely proportional to the centripetal force, which is directly proportional to mass and square of speed.

The below equation gives the relation:

This is the rendered form of the equation. You can not edit this directly. Right click will give you the option to save the image, and in most browsers you can drag the image onto your desktop or another program.

Q. Does centrifugal, and centripetal force exist simultaneously on Earth?

Ans. Both centripetal and centrifugal forces exist in nature.

The Centripetal force is the force that keeps a body in a consistent circular motion. This force operates on the body and is aimed at the circular path’s centre. Centrifugal force, on the other hand, is a fictitious force that does not act on a moving body yet has an impact.It is identical to the centripetal force because it operates in the reverse direction and it is of same magnitude.Thus, when earth rotates in a circular motion, both forces work together.

Q. Which causes the turning of a car frictional force or centripetal force?

Ans. The following is the reason for the car’s turning:

The friction between the vehicle’s tyre and the road provides centripetal force, which causes the car to revolve in a circle.

 Q. Does centrifugal and centripetal force act on the electrons of an atom?

Ans. Both centripetal and centrifugal forces operate on a large and small scale.

The electrons are in a circular orbit around the nucleus.Both forces act on electrons of an atom, and they are responsible for the circular orbiting motion of electrons around the nucleus.

Q. In centripetal force, why is force acting perpendicular to the direction of velocity?

Ans. The following explains why centripetal force and velocity direction are perpendicular to one other.

When the centripetal force is applied to an object rotating in a circle at a constant speed, the force is always directed inward since the object’s velocity is tangential to the circle. As a result, force acts perpendicular to the direction of velocity.

Alpa P. Rajai

I am Alpa Rajai, Completed my Masters in science with specialization in Physics. I am very enthusiastic about Writing about my understanding towards Advanced science. I assure that my words and methods will help readers to understand their doubts and clear what they are looking for. Apart from Physics, I am a trained Kathak Dancer and also I write my feeling in the form of poetry sometimes. I keep on updating myself in Physics and whatever I understand I simplify the same and keep it straight to the point so that it deliver clearly to the readers. You can also reach me at : https://www.linkedin.com/in/alpa-rajai-858077202/

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