View Full Version : Re: Centrifugal force

12-21-2000, 03:06 AM
Dear all

Paolo de Leva wrote

"Was I convincing enough, this time? Any feedback from other
subscribers, besides Ton?"

So here is my five pence worth

I must say I found Paolo convincing. What I was taught in Physics at
school was

1 'Centrifugal force' is a misunderstanding
2 What really matters in circular motion is the tangential force which
accelerates the object so that its velocity vector keeps changing
direction forcing it to rotate
3 The centripetal force is what stops the rotating object flying off
in a straight line (Newton's first law)
4 If the tangential force disappears then so does the circular motion
and the centripetal force. This means that what then makes the object
fly away from the previous centre of rotation is not a 'centrifugal
force', which even if it wasn't fictitious would be zero in these
circumstances, but momentum

I'm a bit puzzled that the issue of tangential force doesn't seem to
have been dealt with so far in this discussion. Also I personally
still can't see any advantage in D'Alembert's approach, but then I'd
never even heard of it until I joined this listserv

Regards, and a happy Christmas to all

Andrew Pinder

Andrew Pinder PhD MSc EurErg MErgS
Ergonomics Section
Health and Safety Laboratory
Broad Lane
Sheffield, S3 7HQ
Email Andrew.Pinder@hsl.gov.uk
Tel +44 114 289 2594
Fax +44 114 289 2526
HSL home page: http://www.hsl.gov.uk
HSE home page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/hsehome.htm

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