Written by Yuhang Jin, AP225 2011 Fall.
Centrifugal forces are usually referred to as fictitious forces (inertial forces) that arise in a rotating frame of reference. A centrifugal force represents the inertia of a rotating body, and is directed away from the rotating center or rotating axis. This concept can be generalized in Lagrangian mechanics when generalized coordinates are in effect. At times centrifugal forces may also mean the reaction forces in response to centripetal forces.