The centripetal force is a required force to maintain a constant speed as the object travels in a circular path. The direction of the force is inward, toward the center of the circular path.
The requirement of a centripetal force for such an object can be satisfied by a gravitational, electromagnetic, or any other type of force.
"Centripetal" is a term derived from the Latin words centrum (meaning "center") and petere (meaning "tend towards").
The equation for centripetal force is:
Where m is the mass of the rotating point mass, r is the radius of the path and omega is the angular velocity (in radians per second).
- Wile, Dr. Jay L. Exploring Creation With Physical Science. Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1999, 2000