What Is Torque? – Definition, Formula, Calculation, Examples


What Is Torque?

Torque is the measure of the force that can cause an object to rotate about an axis. Force is what causes an object to accelerate in linear kinematics. Similarly, torque is what causes an angular acceleration. Hence, torque can be defined as the rotational equivalent of linear force. The point where the object rotates is called the axis of rotation. In physics, torque is simply the tendency of a force to turn or twist. Different terminologies such as moment or moment of force are interchangeably used to describe torque.

Torque conversion Formula

The unit of torque is Newton–meter (N-m). The above equation can be represented as the vector product of force and position vector.

Torque conversion Calculation, Formula, Example


τ = torque vector or magnitude vector

r= position vector

F= force vector

X = this X is perpendicular to the r and F which is equates with right hand rule

𝜃 = is the angle between force vector and arm vector

So, as it is a vector product hence torque also must be a vector. Using vector product notations we can find the direction of torque. We will consider an example to see how to calculate torque.

Examples of Torque

Let us consider the situation given below:

In the above diagram:

  • = 5N

  • r = 4m

  • sinθ = 30°

Putting these values we have,

τ = 5 x 4 x sin 30°

τ = 10 N-m

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