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The Force That Makes You Flee From Bugs

| Learning | December 17, 2014

(I am taking physics and biochemistry this semester. The professor is explaining to the class how centrifugal force really doesn’t exist.)

Physics Professor: “‘Centrifugal’ means ‘fleeing the center’. If this really existed, then if you tie a weight on a string, whirl it around in a circle and let go, the weight would make a sharp right turn and fly off radially from the circle. Instead, what it does is continue in a straight line, tangentially to the circle. This is called ‘centriPETal force,’ meaning ‘attracted to the center.'”

Me: “Yeah, but what about that machine upstairs in the bio-chem lab that I use to concentrate my samples? Everyone calls it a centrifuge, right? What am I supposed to call it instead, a centripete?”

Physics Professor: *without blinking an eye* “Only if it has a hundred legs.”

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