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Unformatted text preview: Torque Lets again consider motion in a circle. When we talked about circular motion, we saw that there were rotational equivalents to position, velocity and acceleration. Is there a rotational equivalent to force? The answer to this is yes. It is called the torque . Consider a rod of length L attached to a pivot at one end. If we press down on the other end of the rod, we can cause the pivot to rotate about its axis. If we pressed closer to the pivot, we would find that it would take more force to cause it to rotate as quickly. After doing a series of these experiments, we would finally conclude that the relationship between the force and the torque is F r × = τ (8.1) where r is the distance from the point of rotation to where the force is applied. Notice that this is a cross product. Only that component of the force which is at right angles to the distance vector contributes to the torque....
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