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 knowledge of Mechanics, but I do understand basic Linear Algebra.
So torque, mathematically, is the cross product of the radial distance vector and a force vector. This cross product gives another vector that is orthogonal to both vectors and it points either outside or towards the "page" (in the context of a two dimensional diagram).
Assuming this is correct, I do not understand what it pointing in or out means. Does it even have a phyisical, intuitive meaning?
The best answer I've been able to come up with is that it's just a mathematical convention with no actual phyisical meaning, meant to provide a framework within which operations between torque vectors, such as addition and substraction, make sense.
Am I correct or way off the mark here?