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Skill 14 of 15
In Progress

Centrifugal effect

A passenger in a car feels “squeezed” to the side when the car turns. And to which side? To the opposite side than the turning; the car turning left means you being “squeezed” up against the right side.

But why are you “squeezed” like that? Is something pushing you to the right when the car turns left?

No, of course not. But it feels like it!

Your body in the car moves forward along with the car, with the same speed as the car. And with no acceleration, just like the car. A constant-speed cuising. When the car turns, your body still expects to continue moving straight. It still has no acceleration. But now the car does. It is the car’s right side that is moving into you rather than your body moving into it.

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References:

  1. Historical development of Newton’s laws of motion and suggestions for teaching content’ (article), Wheijen Chang, Beverley Bell and others, Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, vol. 15, issue 1, article 4, 2014, www.eduhk.hk/apfslt/download/v15_issue1_files/changwj.pdf