Before proceeding with this topic, one should go back through the
BIOMECH archives to a discussion in March, 1999 on this subject.

The thing called "Centrifugal" force is a confection of physics and
lay terminology that probably should be avoided in scientific
discussions. It is one of what Feynman calls "pseudo-forces." It
means a force in a rotating coordinate system that is directed
outward from the center.

So what generates such forces. Certainly not rotation. On the other
hand, if I am on the merry-go-round, I feel I am being thrown outward
as I reach for the brass ring. But I am not actually being thrown
outward. I am being pulled in a circle (accelerated inward) by my
wooden horse and the pole I am holding onto.

So, Centrifugal force is like D'Alembert's force and Coriolis force.
It is a book-keeping entry in the equations of motion. That is, it is
a reaction term to a force that produces acceleration.
__________________________________________________ _________________
| Gerald Gottlieb (617) 358-0719
| NeuroMuscular Research Center 353-9757
| Boston University fax 353-5737
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