The centripetal force and centrifugal force are part of the Newton’s third law. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. In this article we will learn the difference between Centripetal force and Centrifugal force.

**Centripetal Force:**

When a body travels along a circular path its velocity changes continuously. Naturally an external force always acts on the body towards the centre of the path. That external force required to maintain the circular motion of the body is called centripetal force. If a body of mass M is moving on a circular path of radius R with uniform speed V then the required centripetal force

F = mv²/r

F= centripetal force

M= mass

V= velocity

R= Radius

**Centrifugal Force:**

In applying the Newton’s Law of Motion we have to consider some forces which cannot be assigned to any object in the surrounding. These forces are called pseudo force or internal force. Centrifugal force is such an internal force. It is equal and opposite of centripetal force. Centrifugal force should not be confused as the reaction to centripetal force because forces of action and reaction act on different bodies. cream separator, centrifugal driver work on the principle of centrifugal force.

Fç = – mv²/r

Fç= Centrifugal force

M= mass

V= velocity

R= radius

When you see the above image we can clearly notify the difference between the centripetal and centrifugal force. In the Centripetal force the object is pushed away from the center, while in the centrifugal force the object is pulled towards the center.

**Difference between Centripetal force and Centrifugal force:**

Centripetal Force | Centrifugal Force |
---|---|

when the object is having a constant speed and velocity in a circular path. | If an object is having circular motion and is experiencing an outward force that pushes the object outside of the circle it would be called as centrifugal force |

The object would be pulled towards the center. | In centrifugal force the object would be pushed away from the center |

Eg: A ball attached to a string and being rotated, a car taking a curve | Eg: planets orbiting the sun |

Centripetal force is a real force | Centrifugal force is not a real force, it is caused by inertia |

**Conclusion:**

Therefore on studying the above we can conclude that Centrifugal force is not a real force while centripetal force is a real force. And in simple terms to differentiate the centripetal force and centrifugal force, the object is pushed away from the center in centripetal force and centrifugal force pulls the object towards the center.

If you want to read more about Difference between Scalar and Vector quantities click here.