How to calculate relative centrifugal force

Written by peter franczyk
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According to Hunter College's guide to using a centrifuge, relative centrifugal force (RCF) may be expressed as some number (n) times the force of gravity (g). RCF is a convenient value to use when describing the centrifugal force acting on a given body, because as the College of New Jersey notes, it is "a constant that is independent of the apparatus used." In laymen's terms, this means that the RCF you calculate for one centrifuge is the same as the RCF in another centrifuge.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Rotational radius in centimetres (cm)
  • Rotational speed in rotations per minute (rpm)

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  1. 1

    Multiply your rotational radius in centimetres by 0.00001118. Note that the unit for this value will remain in centimetres.

  2. 2

    Square your rotational speed in rotations per minute. Note that the unit for this value will now be in rotations per minute squared.

  3. 3

    Multiply the result from Step 1 by the result from Step 2 to calculate relative centrifugal force. Note that the unit for your calculated relative centrifugal force will be in centimetres per minute squared, or distance per time squared, which is the same measure used to express the acceleration due to gravitational force (g-force).

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