Tombe, Frederick David
May 30, 2022
centrifugal force, electromagnetism, gravity, inertial frames of reference, planetary orbits, Leibniz, Newton, magnetic force
University physics courses teach that centrifugal force doesn’t exist, while university applied maths courses teach that centrifugal force is merely a fictitious force that arises when making observations from a rotating frame of reference. Meanwhile, Sir Isaac Newton claimed that a centrifugal force is the equal and opposite reaction to a centripetal force.
We also read in the literature that the centrifugal force acting on a body relative to a centre of rotation is merely an effect of inertia, owing to the tendency for the body to move in a straight-line path, and so it draws away from the centre. This article attempts to ascertain which, if any, of these positions is correct, and why the matter is important.