Basics Of Lab Centrifuges

Centrifuge is the outward-pushing force felt by bodies moving in a circular motion. However, there is no outward force acting, and centrifugal force is therefore known as a “fictitious” force. The outward-pushing force is as a result of the combined effect of inertia and an inward-pushing external force. Centrifuge comes into play when the rotating objects are observed from the rotating frame of reference, an accelerating and therefore non-inertial frame of reference in which Newton’s laws of motion do not hold. Centrifugal force is often confused with centripetal force.

iFuge L30 The Laboratory Centrifuge

iFuge L30 The Laboratory Centrifuge

Centrifugal force does not actually exist, we actually feel it because we are in a non-inertial coordinate system and it appears quite real to the object being rotated. The reason being that the object believes that it is in a non-accelerating situation, when in fact it is not. For example, a child on a merry-go-round does not experience any real outward-force, but he/she must exert a force to stay on to the merry-go-round. It is because the centrifugal force appears so real, it is often very useful to use as if it were real. The bigger the object, the greater the force. The greater the speed of rotation, the greater the outward force. It is harder to stay on a merry-go-round that is rotating fast compared to that rotating slow. If you move further out on the merry-go-round, you will have to exert a greater force to stay on. In order to stay on a circular path, we must exert a force towards the center called centripetal force. Consider a rope with a ball on the end. If you swirl the ball around in a circle over your head while holding onto the rope, the ball will experience the so-called centrifugal force, and the rope provides the force to keep in moving in the circle.

A laboratory centrifuge is a laboratory equipment, driven by a motor, which spins liquid samples at high speed. There are several types of centrifuges, depending on the size and the sample capacity. Neuation offer a wide range of state of the art Microcentrifuges for several different applications in research laboratories.

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