Centripetal force, Glossary and Terms, Amusement, Recreation & Ticket Services

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"Centripetal force"

Motion along a curve or through a circle is always caused by a centripetal force. This is a force that pushes an object in an inward direction. The moon orbits the earth in a circular motion because a force of gravity pulls on the moon in an inward direction toward the center of its orbit. In a roller coaster loop, riders are pushed inwards toward the center of the loop by forces resulting from the car seat (at the loop's bottom) and by gravity (at the loop's top).

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