Dictionary

Centrifugal (strength)

Centrifugal (strength)


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The centrifuge It is the force that is evident in rotational movements and that tends to propel the object towards the end of the curve. By increasing the speed of rotation of the body, its value tends to grow.

In the case of a body attached to the end of a rope that is rotated in a circular orbit, with the other end of the rope extended by hand, the centrifugal force is what keeps the rope in tension and feels like a traction in the hand. It is opposed by an equal and opposite force called centripetal, which the hand exerts on the object through the rope.

In the case of an artificial satellite in orbit around the Earth, the centrifugal force that prints to it the rocket with which it has been launched exactly balances the centripetal force, which in this case coincides with the gravitational attraction force, and the body remains spinning around our planet.

However, if the space in which the satellite orbits has an element that opposes the movement a slight resistance, such as rarefied gas particles belonging to the Earth's outer atmosphere, the speed of rotation tends to decrease, as does the centrifugal force. In this case, the gravitational attraction force, which is no longer balanced, will predominate over the centrifugal force and will tend to attract the satellite, causing it to fall towards Earth. This is the mechanism by which artificial satellites in low orbits, have relatively modest half-lives and fall towards our planet being destroyed.


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