Museo Galileo
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Centrifugal force / Centripetal force
Centrifugal force / Centripetal force

The centrifugal force is the force exerted on all parts of a body in circular motion that drives it away from the center along the tangent. Generating circular motions also requires a second force (called centripetal) that keeps bodies on the circular orbit. Drawing on the perceptive analysis of motion by René Descartes (1596-1650), Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) was the first to provide a precise geometric explanation of circular motion as the resultant of the equilibrium between centripetal and centrifugal forces.