Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scientosaurus rex on centrifugal effect-

What do you mean, "Dinosaurs dont make good scientists"?

I PROMISED to write a further explanation on the forces of nature, so here we go. What i really want to do here, is just clear up a few definitions and statements that I used in an earlier entry about the equator and sky and stuff... Yeah. In retrospect, this blog is pretty weird.

Anyway, I said earlier that the centrifugal force does not exist. This is both true and false, its a matter of perspective. We all know that there is something that seems to grab hold of us, pulling us outwards, when we e.g. make a turn in a car, or speed about in a curvy rollercoaster. Or use centrifuges, but thats not an example I want to use right now, it would detract from the point.

So centrifugal force is how we most often refer to this force, this pulling sensation, present in your whole body when speed changes direction. Yes, speed changing direction. Thats how youre supposed to think about this, because thats what it is. There is no such force in existance as centrifugal force, its like a virtual force. It can be observed in some circumstances, but its not actually real.

What the centrifugal... effect, as it should be called, actually is composed of, is a combination of centripetal force making our movement change direction, while Newtons first law of motion makes our bodies strive to keep going in the same direction as we used to. Thats a long sentence. Ill state an example;

Youre speeding about, in a car, and make a left turn. The movement starts from the wheels, which are solidly connected to the car. The car changes direction, but as you are not mechanically bound to the car (You should be, though. Seatbelts save lives.), your body will keep moving without turning. Now begins a strife between the force turning the car, dragging your ass or whatever part of you is most connected to the vehicle to the left, while newtons first law wants you keep going forward. The centrifugal effect manifests itself as a feeling that you are being pulled to the right! Trippy, right.

How large this virtual force will be depends on speed, and how steep the curve is. You might recognize yourself sitting in a rollercoaster, going over a huge arching hill-thing. Here, the same happens when the fluids of your stomach come rushing up your throat, as when youre in the turning car. Only difference is that in a rollercoaster, your body is firmly attached to the ride, and the only loose part of you seems to be your half-digested popcorn, which will very much be the victim of centrifugal effect.

Oh yeah, the feeling of weightlessness is also all because of centrifugal effect. I just think vomit is more fascinating.

What is this centripetal force im talking about then? I didnt clear that up very well... Centripetal force is just a word for a force that pulls you toward a center of some sort. We are always being subjected to centripetal force, as gravity pulls us to the sun, for example. Here, again, in the movement of planets, the centrifugal effect equals out the centripetal force, and thats why we dont go crashing into the sun.

One thing worth mentioning about newtons first law of motion, and centrifugal effect for that matter, is that the momentum increases by a factor of 4 every time the speed of the movement doubles. This means that youll feel 9 times as much centrifugal force when youre moving 60km/h as when youre moving 20km/h. Think about that, the next time you blow a corner with your car, and wonder why there was no traction and why you are now in the ditch. You got fucked by centrifugal effect!

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