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Centrifugal Force

Centrifugal Force, a term used in dynamics. A moving force tends to continue its motion in the same straight line. If compelled to move in a curve, it exerts a force against the restraint called centrifugal force. This is at any instant in the direction of the centre of curvature for that instant; it is proportional to the mass of the body and to the square of its velocity, and is inversely proportional to its distance from the centre of curvature. If a weight is whirled round in a circle by means of a string, centrifugal force tends to break the string. The force that the string itself exerts on the body is termed centripetal. The rotation of the earth, when more plastic than it is at present, probably was the cause of its oblateness. The outer rail on a railway curve is placed at a higher level than the inner, so that the resultant pressure due to the weight of the train and to centrifugal force shall be approximately perpendicular to the plane of the rails. If a quantity of liquid be rotated in a convenient vessel, any solid particles or other heavier matter contained in the liquid will, by action of centrifugal force, fly outwards to the sides of the vessel. This principle is used in certain processes of clarification.