# What if the centripetal force were acting outward?

Centripetal force is the centre-seeking force & is responsible for circular motion. But what if the centripetal force were acting radially outward? What would happen then?

• You mean a repellent force? See how forces between like charges behave. – XYZT Nov 22 '14 at 4:40
• I think its called 'centrifugal' force, =>'away from centre'. – theo Nov 22 '14 at 4:44
• No, that's a fictitious force. – XYZT Nov 22 '14 at 5:00

It would be called centrifugal force. By definition you call it centripetal when it it is towards the center, and centrifugal if it acts opposite to it. If you have a centripetal force with an object in orbit, and suddenly you make it centrifugal (repulsive), the object will fly off, but I cannot tell if it will be an hyperbolic path without making the actual calculations (plus it also depends on the caracteristics opf the centrifugal force (is it constant, does it decreses or increases as $1/r^2$, etc).