Given this situation ($P$ is the point where the beam is fixed), which force induces a torque that is counterclockwise?

enter image description here

I want to use that : $ \boldsymbol{\tau} = \textbf{r} \times \textbf{F}$ , however what does counter clockwise torque mean? Intuitionally it would seem that $F_2$ would turn the beam around its own axis (counter clockwise) but so would $F_3$ and $F_5$.

So my question actually is: what does counter clockwise torque mean in the context of this exercise?

Any hints are greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


Counter-clockwise means anti clockwise direction.

So this question is asking which force will rotate the rod in anti clockwise direction. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, i know the meaning of the word. But in 3 dimensions there are 3 possible ways to go counter clockwise. What is meant in the context of this exercise? I dont have any experience with physics or engineering so i dont know for sure what is meant here. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ Imagine the rod to be hour hand of the clock and now think which force(component) rotates the rod in anti clockwise direction. $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ And how exactly there are 3 possible ways? $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ xy plane, zx plane and yz plane, and in each you can go clockwise or counter clockwise ; so your comment doesnt really help $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Is f2 perpendicular to the rod? $\endgroup$ Aug 8, 2020 at 0:22

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