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Concept# Fictitious force

Summary

A fictitious force is a force that appears to act on a mass whose motion is described using a non-inertial frame of reference, such as a linearly accelerating or rotating reference frame.
It is related to Newton's second law of motion, which treats forces for just one object.
Passengers in a vehicle accelerating in the forward direction may perceive they are acted upon by a force moving them into the direction of the backrest of their seats for instance. An example in a rotating reference frame may be the impression that it is a force which seems to move objects outward toward the rim of a centrifuge or carousel.
The fictitious force called a pseudo force might also be referred to as a body force. It is due to an object's inertia when the reference frame does not move inertially any more but begins to accelerate relative to the free object. In terms of the example of the passenger vehicle, a pseudo force seems to be active just before the body touches the backrest of the seat in the car. A person in the car leaning forward first moves a bit backward in relation to the already accelerating car, before touching the backrest. The motion in this short period just seems to be the result of a force on the person; i.e., it is a pseudo force. A pseudo force does not arise from any physical interaction between two objects, such as electromagnetism or contact forces. It's just a consequence of the acceleration a of the physical object the non-inertial reference frame is connected to, i.e. the vehicle in this case. From the viewpoint of the respective accelerating frame, an acceleration of the inert object appears to be present, apparently requiring a "force" for this to have happened.
As stated by Iro:
Such an additional force due to nonuniform relative motion of two reference frames is called a pseudo-force.
The pseudo force on an object arises as an imaginary influence when the frame of reference used to describe the object's motion is accelerating compared to a non-accelerating frame.

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