# Reactive centrifugal force

In classical mechanics, a **reactive centrifugal force** forms part of an action–reaction pair with a centripetal force.

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In accordance with Newton's first law of motion, an object moves in a straight line in the absence of any external forces acting on the object. A curved path may however ensue when a force acts on it; this force is often called a centripetal force, as it is directed toward the center of curvature of the path. Then in accordance with Newton's third law of motion, there will also be an equal and opposite force exerted by the object on some other object,[1][2] such as a constraint that forces the path to be curved, and this reaction force, the subject of this article, is sometimes called a **reactive centrifugal force**, as it is directed in the opposite direction of the centripetal force.

Unlike the inertial force or fictitious force known as centrifugal force, which always exists in addition to the reactive force in the rotating frame of reference, the reactive force is a real Newtonian force that is observed in any reference frame. The two forces will only have the same magnitude in the special cases where circular motion arises and where the axis of rotation is the origin of the rotating frame of reference. It is the reactive force that is the subject of this article.[3][4][5][6]