Centrifuge

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A laboratory centrifuge.

A centrifuge is a piece of equipment that rotates an object around a fixed axis (spins it in a circle), applying an outward force. When this happens, the denser materials migrate outwards, while the less dense ones are pushed inwards.

Industrial-scale centrifuges are commonly used in manufacturing and waste processing to separate suspended solids or immiscible liquids. An example of this is the cream separator found in dairies. Centrifuges are also used to separate isotopes of the same atomic element for nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, since different isotopes have different masses (and radioactivity).