The tendency of a force to rotate an object about an arbitrary axis.

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29
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9answers
22k views

Why is torque not measured in Joules?

Recently, I was doing my homework and I found out that Torque can be calculated using $\tau = rF$. This means the units of torque are Newton meters. Energy is also measured in Newton meters which are ...
24
votes
8answers
4k views

Why is there a size limitation on animals?

Why is there a size limitation on human/animal growth? Assuming the technology exists for man to grow to 200 feet high, it's pretty much a given that the stress on the skeletal structure and joints ...
17
votes
6answers
5k views

Why does the weighing balance restore when tilted and released

I'm talking about a Weighing Balance shown in the figure: Press & Hold on onside of the horizontal beam and then release it. It makes some oscillations and comes back to equilibrium like shown ...
15
votes
2answers
639 views

Why do speed skaters use their right hand to accelerate?

I was watching the speed skating event, and was wondering, why do the athletes use their right hand while accelerating? If they want to increase the moment of inertia, then they should move the hand ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Why are bicycle pedal threads' handedness left on the left and right on the right?

I understand the reason that bicycle pedals are oppositely threaded on either side. What I don't understand is why it works because I'm missing something. Take the right pedal for example. It's ...
9
votes
4answers
13k views

What determines the direction of precession of a gyroscope?

I understand how torque mathematically causes a change to the direction of angular momentum, thus precessing the gyroscope. However, the direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise, of this ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Apparent violation of Newton's 3rd law and the conservation of angular momentum for a pair of charged particles interacting magnetically

Consider a system of the two identical point positive charges situated in free space (isolated from influence of any other external fields) as shown in the figure below. Particle 1 is at $(a,a,0)$ and ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Paradox in applying Newton's second law [duplicate]

Suppose I apply two vertical but opposite forces with the same magnitude in a body like is shown in the picture: According to newton's second law, the center of mass shouldn't accelerate, since the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How do levers amplify forces?

This is really bothering me for a long time, because the math is easy to do, but it's still unintuitive for me. I understand the "law of the lever" and I can do the math and use the torques, or ...
7
votes
2answers
275 views

Is there an equivalent of a scalar potential for torques?

For a given scalar potential $V$, it is known that the corresponding force field $\mathbf{F}$ can be computed from $$ \mathbf{F} = -\nabla V $$ Suppose a rigid body is placed inside this potential....
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Difference between torque and moment

What is the difference between torque and moment? I would like to see mathematical definitions for both quantities. I also do not prefer definitions like "It is the tendancy..../It is a measure of ......
6
votes
1answer
2k views

finding angular velocity and regular velocity when bouncing off a surface with friction

Take the game of pong as a simple example. When you hit the ball with a paddle that has a frictional surface, the ball will spin as well as change direction according to the coefficient of kinetic ...
6
votes
1answer
157 views

Why does this screwdriver roll in a curved trajectory?

I am trying my level best to give this screwdriver a horizontal push only, but it is going in a circular path. I thought of uneven friction due to non-uniform normal reaction...what do you think? I ...
6
votes
1answer
76 views

How does a lever magnify force? [duplicate]

I understand that energy is conserved when a force is applied to the end of a lever and magnified closer to the pivot point. However, I would like to know how it is the force is transferred and ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Conservation of angular momentum experiment

I've learned in that in this experiment: ...the skater will start rotating faster when she brings her arms in and there is no net torque acting on her. But what would happen to her angular momentum ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Proving angular momentum is conserved for a particle moving in a central force field $\vec F =\phi(r) \vec r$

A problem I am trying to work out is as follows: A particle moves in a force field given by $\vec F =\phi(r) \vec r$. Prove that the angular momentum of the particle about the origin is constant. ...
5
votes
3answers
691 views

Electric engine transmission

If we compare a petrol engine and an electric engine car, it is sufficient for the electric engine car (e.g Tesla Roadster) just to have 1 gear (forward), whereas petrol engine can have up to 7. Why ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Unit of torque with radians?

Usually, the angular frequency $\omega$ is given in $\mathrm{1/s}$. I find it more consistent to give it in $\mathrm{rad/s}$. For the angular momentum $L$ is then given in $\mathrm{rad \cdot kg \cdot ...
5
votes
4answers
888 views

Meaning of the direction of the cross product

I was doing calculations with torque and then I came across something very confusing: I understand that the magnitude of the torque is given by product of the displacement(from the center of rotation)...
5
votes
4answers
10k views

Torque vs Moment

I was wondering, why in Newtonian physics torque is called "torque" while in static mechanics they call it "moment"? I prefer by far the term "torque", for not only it sounds strong, but also ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Torque direction meaning

I apologize if this question is dumb, but I've looked all over for a straightforward answer and either I can't find one or the terms are too complex for me to understand. I have only a rudimentary ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is less force required to open a door when we apply a force at a greater distance from the hinge?

I know that the magnitude of a torque increases with the distance from the axis of rotation. What is the reason of that : how can a force exert a greater torque when the force is applied at a ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Which is the axis of rotation?

This should be simple, but it keeps bothering me. If a rigid body has no fixed axis, and a torque (defined relative to a point $A$) is applied, it will rotate around $A$. But often I can also ...
5
votes
3answers
884 views

How can I relate linear and angular motion using a single formula?

I want to relate linear and angular motion using a single formula. Assume I have a 10m rod, and I apply a force of 5N on it, 2.5m away from the axis of rotation for 1s. How can I determine the ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

What happens inside a body when it rotates?

I'm studying rigid body dynamics lately. I came across the definition of torque, and though I've found a lot of explanations as to why there is an r there (the moment), all of them are mathematical (...
5
votes
1answer
647 views

Wind turbine: Single large propeller or multiple small propellers?

Assuming smaller propellers would spin even in very low wind, whereas a large propeller would stall; Would it be efficient to use a bunch of propellers from axial fans geared to a single motor ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

Why and how exactly is electric motor torque limited?

Inspired by this question and specifically this answer to it. From my experience there's always some very specific limit to how much torque an electric motor can output. For example, an electric ...
5
votes
2answers
481 views

How do objects change their axis of rotation?

If I hold a pencil at its end and spin it, throwing it upwards, it will spin about its end, but will soon start spinning around its center. How is this? I would draw the following torque diagram for ...
5
votes
3answers
626 views

Thrust center in space

I have this dilemma: Suppose you have a space ship somewhere in deep space, where there is no drag force or substantial gravity. If the ship has a single engine situated in such a way that the center ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I calculate DC motor speed for a given load?

Suppose I have a robot of a given mass, and I'm choosing between 2 different wheels and 2 different motors to put on it. For each wheel I have the diameter, and for each motor I know the stall torque ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

How can a reel of thread move in opposite direction?

There is a nice puzzle about reel of thread. I wonder why the solution works. The puzzle: You take a reel with threads on it. Inner radius r, outer radius R. You put it on a table. If you pull ...
4
votes
1answer
851 views

Why don't couple forces violate Newton's First Law?

If you have some random object at rest and you apply a couple to it, the net force acting on it is zero. However because a moment acts on it, it starts to rotate. So you had an object at rest, a net ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do rolling disc (coin) move in circular path?

We have a coin that is rolled such that it's tilted at an small angle $ \theta $. Question:: What turns around rolling disc so that it traces circular motion (spiral as it's speed decreses)? ...
4
votes
3answers
615 views

Is torque independent of choice of the point of rotation?

Is torque or moment of couple independent of choice of point of rotation? Torque is given by $\tau =\vec r\times\vec F$. It depends on r, which is its distance from axis of rotation to the point ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Understanding moments as forces?

I was watching this lecture on analysis of stress for mechanics of materials. At time 7:20, the lecturer says that in equilibrium, the sum of forces and "moments" in each direction (x,y,z) must be ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Which force makes a wheel roll down the hill? What causes friction?

A wheel rolling down a hill has two axis of rotation. One is where the center or mass is and the other is the point of contact with the surface which acts as a fulcrum. I was trying to understand how ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

Ball Rolling Down An Inclined Plane - Where does the torque come from?

There is a ball rolling down an incline, with no slipping. If we consider the point of contact between the ball and the inclined plane to be the pivot point (for our torque calculations), then I have ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What is rotational potential energy?

I don't understand the concept of rotational potential energy. During linear motion, when a force is applied, the work it does gets converted to kinetic energy and there is no change in the ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Mechanics principle

When two forces of equal magnitude, opposite in direction and parallel act on an object, the object will rotate without having translational speed. On the other hand, when three concurrent forces ...
4
votes
2answers
151 views

Can net torque $\sum_i\mathbf r_i\times\mathbf F_i$ be expessed as $\mathbf r\times$ (net force) for some $\mathbf r$?

Let $\mathbf F_i$ be forces each of which is applied on $\mathbf r_i$ of a rigid body. Then is there a position vector $\mathbf r$ that satisfies $$\displaystyle\sum_i\mathbf r_i\times\mathbf ...
4
votes
2answers
894 views

Why do gyroscopes not maintain their stability as seen in this video

What exactly causes gyroscopes to oscillate as seen in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdAmEEAiJWo Even when my toy gyroscope spins on Earth, I get oscillations. Is this a result of ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do people with bigger hands/wrists have bigger torque advantages in arm wrestling?

I have arm wrestled people with less strength than me who win simply because they have thicker wrists, or larger hands. It has nary to do with having better technique either, because their wrist size ...
4
votes
2answers
466 views

Right-angle lever paradox in special relativity

I remember to have read somewhere an interesting special relativity "paradox" considering two perpendicular rods $A$ and $B$ of equal proper length $L$ fixed at point $O$. In the "rest" frame equal ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

What kind of torques cause an object to precess?

In studying precession, my textbook (Taylor's Classical Mechanics) makes the assumption that a top spinning about its symmetric axis, but tipped at an angle $\theta$, will precess nicely so long as ...
3
votes
4answers
593 views

Car “oomph”: power or torque?

Two of the most important magnitudes that characterize a car's engine are maximum power and maximum torque. How are those two magnitudes related to the sensation that the car has "oomph" or is "...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

What is the relationship and difference between BHP and Torque?

I've recently been looking into performance figures for various auto mobiles, and I see the terms BHP and Torque used quite often, but I can't say I really understand the terms, or how they relate to ...
3
votes
3answers
299 views

What is a “Center Of Mass” issue of a Gorillapod?

I read somewhere that a Gorillapod may have "Center Of Mass" issues when used with the long lenses. So, I wish to understand what is a "Center Of Mass" issue? I have to clarify that I am NOT a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Dynamics of moment of inertia

I'd like to be able to determine the angular acceleration of a system of two rotating masses, which are connected so as to have a variable mechanical advantage between the two. My background with ...
3
votes
4answers
21k views

What is the difference between a moment and a couple?

In mechanical engineering, the torque due to a couple is given by $\tau = P\times d$, where $\tau$ is the resulting couple, $P~$ is one of the force vectors in the couple and $d$ is the arm of the ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

How much force would be necessary to hold a 6-foot steel staff weighing 20 lbs from one end of it, parallel to the floor?

This isn't a homework problem. I'm asking cause I'm wondering how strong a person would have to be to pull it off. Their arms would be extended, both hands gripping the staff at one end, and the staff ...