# What is the Definition of Centripetal Force in Physics

**Definition of Centripetal Force**

**Definition:**

The force that causes an object to move along a curve (or a curved path) is called centripetal force.

**Mathematical Expression:**

We know that the magnitude of centripetal acceleration of a body in uniform circular motions is directly proportional to the square of velocity and inversely proportional to the radius of the path Therefore,

a(c) < v2 (Here < represents the sign of proportionality do not write this in your examination and 2 represents square of v)

a(c) < 1/r

**Combining both the equations:**

a(c) < v2/r

**From Newton’s Second Law of Motion:**

F = ma

=> F(c) = mv2/r

Where,

Fc = Centripetal Force

m = Mass of object

v = Velocity of object

r = Radius of the curved path

**Factors on which Fc Depends:**

Fc depends upon the following factors:

- Increase in the mass increases Fc.
- It increases with the square of velocity.
- It decreases with the increase in radius of the curved path.

**Examples:**

- The centripetal force required by natural planets To move constantly round a circle is provided by the gravitational force of The sun.

- If a stone tied to a string is whirled in a circle, the required centripetal force is supplied to it by our hand. As a reaction the stone exerts an equal force which is felt by our hand.

- The pilot while turning his airplane tiIts one wing in the upward direction so that the air pressure may provide the required suitable Fc.

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