Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
. Hopefully this post has answered some of your questions and we can get back to the thread topic.
Great idea Jasp, let's get back to the topic. One of the points in the thread title is centrifugal force (CF). The op had a specific question about whether it's valid to talk about
CF. I tried my best to reassure him that it is valid, but based on some of Jasp's comments, perhaps the big picture got lost along with the relevance of my points. So, let me
summarize and hopefully put to rest this question (yah right).
CF is a powerful tool, nearly indispensable for engineers, to help understand and control our world. I've noticed times in this forum where cf is questioned based on claims that
it's not real. This line of reasoning is unnecessarily theoretical, and in my opinion derails the conversation. The question of whether CF is real or not is irrelevant, because
1. CF as used in classical mechanics on this scale will always give the right answer.
2. You can create a situation where a person would be hard pressed to tell the difference between gravity and CF (space station example).
3. One of the main complaints about cf is that objects do not fly out from the center of the circle, but really this is just a matter of perspective. And, that's ok, because a
thorough understanding of relativity shows that just about everything else is too (space station example, relative size of object and frame of reference example).
4. It may be tempting to rely on referencing a physicist for this, but many of these physicists also say gravity isn't real showing that the definition and relevance of "real" must
be carefully understood and scrutinized before making any conclusions (theory of relativity example).
Sometimes people don't understand how CF works, and some of the finer points need to be reiterated. But, it's a huge step backwards conceptually and mathematically trying to discuss how things work without using CF. So, if someone says to you, "but CF isn't real", you can reply that it doesn't matter. Hopefully, this is now clear enough that we can move on to other points in the topic.