Skip to main content

Illustration Centripetal force acts on the body in a circular motion

Centripetal force when moving in a circle
Get illustration

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Sharing and adapting of the illustration is allowed with indication of the link to the illustration.

A mass point with the mass \( m \) (e.g. planet, elementary particle, car) is held by the centripetal force \( F_{\text z} \) on a circular orbit with the radius \( r \). The centripetal force always points to the center of the circle. The velocity \( v \) of the mass point shows tangential to the circular path and is therefore perpendicular to the centripetal force.