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Unformatted text preview: Unit 1 Key Question: Applications of the Centrifuge What is a centrifuge? A centrifuge is a mechanical device, which is usually driven by an electric motor that spins objects secured within it at a high-speed around a fixed axis. The rotation around the axis causes an applied force perpendicular to the axis which is called centrifugal force . To give an example of centrifugal force, picture yourself holding a water-filled bucket by your side. When that bucket is spun around in quick circles the centrifugal force pushes the water to the bottom of the bucket, which keeps the water from spilling out. Centrifugal force within a spinning centrifuge pushes the contents away from the fixed axis in the centre that rotates the objects. Centrifuges are primarily used in laboratories to separate mixtures based on the densities of their contents. Uses of the centrifuge In the mid 16 th century an English military engineer named Laval invented a device with a twirling arm which was used to measure drag. From there a man named Antonin Prandl invented the first centrifuge which was used to separate the cream from milk. This made the process of churning butter much easier and also paved the way for the modern centrifuge. Today centrifuges come in butter much easier and also paved the way for the modern centrifuge....
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2009 for the course ENGG eg 404 taught by Professor Weisenhaupt during the Spring '09 term at University of the Bío-Bío.
- Spring '09