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

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9answers
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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 ...
19
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
395 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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
136 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
154 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
585 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
537 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
3answers
489 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
155 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
1answer
446 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
6k 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
78 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
414 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
668 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
239 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
2answers
235 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
308 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
245 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
1k 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
5answers
723 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
566 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
4k 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
1answer
421 views

Intuitive explanation for why same force applied farther from a hinge causes larger angular acceleration than if applied closer?

A standard example of a problem involving torque is opening a door - the same force F applied far from the hinge causes a larger angular acceleration than if applied close to the hinge. I always had ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Calculating torque adjustment for offset of pivot point

I'm trying to figure out how much to adjust torque, on a torque wrench when using an extension that offsets the pivot point. See this calculator for a diagram of what I'm talking about: The trouble ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does the beam in a weighing balance get tilted proportional to the weights added to each pan?

I'm talking about a beam balance(a simple weighing balance with a beam and two pans hung on either side) As answered in a previous question, the beam comes back to the original position when one ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Will my hard-drive wear/damage when I tilt my laptop? [closed]

I have an old laptop that I turn off every 2 months or so, it's always on, and I use it whenever I need to do something away from my desk, where I have my real machine. Anyway, every time I grab ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Static equilibrium question [closed]

I was doing some static equilibrium problems and I came across this problem which should be easy to solve, but is posing quite a challenge. I want to point out that this is not homework, just plain ...
3
votes
2answers
748 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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. ...
2
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
269 views

Basic Torque: Did TA get it wrong?

The question itself: A modern art sculptor anchors 1 meter of a cast iron pole in the ground and leaves 3 meters of the pole sticking out of the ground at a 60° angle. The owner of the metal shop ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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)? ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How does a car's low gear increase power while going slower?

People have always told me that when a car goes into low gear, it goes slower but puts "more power" or "more torque" on the wheels, which allows it to descend slippery slopes or get out of mud traps ...
2
votes
2answers
369 views

Lorentz engine to run a car?

Could a Lorentz engine (like the ones that move the write head inside of hardrives) be used to run car ? Would it be possable to get it producing 60hp, and a decent amount of tourque, if so how large ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Why is moment dependent on the distance from the point of rotation to the force?

The formula for moment is: $$M = Fd$$ Where F is the force applied on the object and d is the perpendicular distance from the point of rotation to the line of action of the force. Why? Intuitively, ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

Torque Required For a Motor to Move an Object on Wheels?

I've been attempting to calculate how much torque a motor needs to produce in order to start a stationary object on wheels moving. (The torque is being applied to the rear 2 wheels, the front 2 are on ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Why are non-horizontal levers not considered to be in equilibrium?

Consider a triple-beam balance, like so: An unknown mass is placed on the left pan, and the provided weights are moved on the right until the lever arm comes to rest at an exactly horizontal ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is angular momentum always conserved in the absence of an external torque?

Consider either the angular momentum of the earth around the sun or equivalently swinging a ball horizontally on a string. I know that with respect to the point of rotation of the swinging ball, ...
2
votes
1answer
382 views

Which speed can an electric scooter reach on a given slope?

Electric scooters are always "given" as "working with slopes up to xx%", but what does it mean? Given motor torque and power, scooter+driver weight and wheels diameter, how can I determine at which ...