# Centripetal Force - Key terms

### ACCELERATION:

A change in velocity.

### CENTRIFUGAL:

A term describing the tendency of objects in uniform circular motion to move away from the center of the circular path. Though the term "centrifugal force" is often used, it is inertia, rather than force, that causes the object to move outward.

### CENTRIPETAL FORCE:

The force that causes an object in uniform circular motion to move toward the center of the circular path.

### INERTIA:

The tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, and of an object at rest to remain at rest.

### MASS:

A measure of inertia, indicating the resistance of an object to a change in its motion—including a change in velocity.

### SCALAR:

A quantity that possesses only magnitude, with no specific direction. Mass, time, and speed are all scalars. A scalar is contrasted with a vector.

### SPEED:

The rate at which the position of an object changes over a given period of time.

### TANGENTIAL:

Movement along a tangent, or a line that touches a circle at just one point and does not intersect the circle.

### UNIFORM CIRCULAR MOTION:

The motion of an object around the center of a circle in such a manner that speed is constant or unchanging.

### VECTOR:

A quantity that possesses both magnitude and direction. Velocity, acceleration, and weight (which involves the downward acceleration due to gravity) are examples of vectors. It is contrasted with a scalar.

### VELOCITY:

The speed of an object in a particular direction.