# Centripetal Force and Centrifugal Force: What is the Difference?

Question by Guest | 29/09/2018 at 16:23

I have a small problem in my physics lessons. Repeatedly, I confuse the two forces "centripetal force" and "centrifugal force". Can someone explain the difference in easy words?

#### Chemox

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Let's say you're in a carousel that's spinning in circles. This is also the place where you as a human being can feel the two forces most clearly in everyday life.

So, you fly in a circle through the air and feel a force that pushes you out and another that pulls you back inside. The force pushing you outward from the orbit is the centrifugal force, and the force that pulls you back in is the centripetal force. So they work against each other. Without one of the two forces, the carousel could not work.
29/09/2018 at 18:37

#### Square

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The centrifugal force comes from the Latin words centrum = middle and fugere = flee. So, it's fleeing from the middle.

The centripetal force comes from the Latin word centrum = middle and petere = make way to. So moving towards the middle. This force is also called radial force.
30/09/2018 at 21:29

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