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Old Jul 23rd 2014, 06:24 PM   #1
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Is centripetal force opposite but equal in magnitude of centrifugal force?

Is centripetal force and centrifugal force action reaction pairs?


If centrifugal force is not an action reaction pair with centripetal force, does centripetal force due to friction, gravity, and tension all have an action reaction pair?



Sincerely,
Jonathan
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Old Jul 24th 2014, 02:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jlyu002 View Post
Is centripetal force and centrifugal force action reaction pairs?


If centrifugal force is not an action reaction pair with centripetal force, does centripetal force due to friction, gravity, and tension all have an action reaction pair?



Sincerely,
Jonathan
The centripetal force is actually a net force: The sum of all the forces on an object that is pointed toward the center of the circle is equal to the centripetal force. As such it does not always have a Third Law reaction pair. In the circumstances when the object only has only one radial force on it, the typical Third Law pair might be friction (on the person in a seat) or the normal force.

The centrifugal force is not a force as such, it's related to the frame of motion you are looking at the problem in, but in the coordinate frames where it applies it is not a Third Law pair to the centripetal force. As I recall the centripetal and centrifugal forces do tend to be equal an opposite...just not Third Law pairs.

-Dan
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Old Jul 24th 2014, 05:17 PM   #3
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Thank you Dan! This clarified a lot.

-Jonathan
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