Enter the total force, the radius of the applied force, and the angle at which it is applied to calculate the total torque on an object.
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Torque can be calculated through the following formula:
(t) = (r) * (F) * sin (theta)
- Where t is torque in
- r is radius
- F is force
- and theta is the angle between
This can also be written as a cross-product of two vectors, but we will not go that deep in this article as it’s a little more advanced and harder to write out. Torque causes an object to rotate and as a result, it will make this object accelerate in an angular motion, and give it momentum. This will cause the object to have a velocity after some period of time and kinetic energy. This can be calculated through the following equation:
Energy = torque * theta
Where theta is the total angle rotated by that object.
Torque is a force that is applied along a radius that causes an object to rotate. Force, just like velocity is a vector quantity meaning it has a magnitude and direction. With that said, the direction of the torque is often ignored in some calculations, especially in your introductory physics classes.
How to Calculate Torque
Let’s take a look at an example of how to calculate torque in a real-world sending. Let’s assume we are looking at cars. In that car, there is a motor that applied force to a gear. That gear is at some radius which is then attached to an axle.
- First, we must calculate the total force produced by the engine. This is usually given as a specification on a car, but for our example, we will assume a force of 3000N.
- Next, we must determine the radius of the gear. This can be done simply by hand measuring it. For our example, we will assume a radius of .25m
- Next, we need to determine the angle at which that gear applies force to the axle. In this case, the force is always applied at a 90-degree angle, and the sin of 90 = 1, so it simplifies the equation.
- Finally, enter all of the information into the equation or calculator above. T = 3000N * .25 * 1 = 750 N*m of torque. Not bad for a small car!
In physics and mechanics, torque is the rotational equivalent of linear force. That is it’s a torque applied perpendicular to a radius.