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.
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.