Centrifugal Force Calculator

Created by Bogna Szyk
Reviewed by Steven Wooding
Last updated: Oct 10, 2022

The centrifugal force calculator helps you find the force acting on a rotating object based on its mass, velocity, and radius of rotation. You can use it not only to figure out how to calculate centrifugal force but also the acceleration and angular velocity of the object. Read on to learn what is the centrifugal force definition and how to apply the centrifugal force equation.

The relation between force and acceleration for objects moving in a straight line can be found in our acceleration calculator.

Centrifugal force definition

Centrifugal force is the inertia force that arises in each rotating object. It is only required in a rotating reference frame - or, in other words, when we look at the system from the point of view of the object in motion.

According to Newton's first law, if no force acts on an object, it moves in a straight line. For rotation to occur, a centrifugal force - acting outwards from the center of rotation - must be applied.

For example, you can imagine a rock whirled round on a string. The centrifugal force is the force that prevents it from moving towards the center of rotation (that is, towards your hand).

Centrifugal force equation

If you know the velocity of the object, simply use the following formula:

F = mv²/r

where:

  • F is the force expressed in newtons;
  • m is the mass of the object;
  • v is the velocity; and
  • r is the radius.

If you know only the angular velocity ω, you can recalculate it to normal velocity by simply multiplying it by the circumference of the circular path. Use the following equation:

v = ω2πr

in case your ω is in Hz (1/s).

Or the formula:

v = ωr

for ω in rad/s.

Or simply type the values of ω and r into our calculator.

For more information on how to find the circumference visit our circumference calculator.

How to calculate centrifugal force

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Find the mass of the object - for example, 10 kg.
  2. Determine the radius of rotation. Let's assume it's 2 m.
  3. Determine the velocity of the object. It can be equal to 5 m/s. If you know the angular velocity only, you can use the formula v = ω ⋅ 2 ⋅ π ⋅ r to calculate the velocity.
  4. Use the centrifugal force equation: F = m v² / r. In our example, it will be equal to (10 kg) × (5 m/s)² / (2 m) = 125 kg⋅m/s² = 125 N.
  5. Or you can just input the data into our calculator instead :)

What to do next?

Our centrifugal force calculator can also be used to find the centrifugal acceleration a using the simple formula: a = F / m.

It works in reverse, too - for example, you can find the mass of the object with a given velocity, centrifugal force, and radius.

Since you know the mass and velocity of the object, you can also find its kinetic energy.

Additionally, you can explore the concept of kinetic energy further by visiting our kinetic energy calculator.

FAQ

What is centrifugal force?

The centrifugal force of a rotating object is an outer force that pulls the object out from the rotation center. It is an inertial force that reacts to the centripetal force.

How to calculate the centrifugal force of a turning car?

You can try Omnicalculator's tool centrifugal force calculator or proceed as follows:

  1. Find out the radius of curvature. Let's say 150 meters.
  2. Define the car's speed. This value will serve as tangential velocity. Let's assume 50km/h
  3. Multiply the car mass by the squared speed and divide the result by the radius of curvature.
  4. The result is 1286 newtons.

What is the difference in centrifugal vs centripetal force

Centrifugal force and centripetal force are the same but aim for opposite directions. While centrifugal force aims for the opposite direction of the rotation center, the centripetal force aims toward it.

What is the centrifugal force on a 1 meter radius merry go round ?

For the centrifugal force calculation, we need the radius of the center, rotational speed, and the object's mass. Considering you weigh 70kg and can achieve one 360° turn around in 2 seconds (30 turn arounds per minute or 30 rpm), the centrifugal force you experiment with is 960.9 newtons.

Bogna Szyk
Equation for centrifugal force
Mass (m)
lb
Radius (r)
ft
Tangential velocity (v)
ft/s
Angular velocity (ω)
rpm
Force (F)
lbf
Centrifugal acceleration (a)
m/s²
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