Torque

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tau =
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The Torque calculator computes torque as a function of force (F) and perpendicular distance (L).

INSTRUCTIONS: Choose the preferred units and enter the following:

• (F) This is the force.
• (L) This is the perpendicular distance.

Torque (τ):  The torque is returned in N•m.  However, this can be converted to compatible units via the pull-down menu.

General Information

The formula for the magnitude of torque (τ), the quantitative measure of the tendency force to cause rotational motion of a body. The inputs are Force (F) and the distance (L) between the pivot point and the point where the force is applied.  L is measured by the perpendicular distance from the pivot point, P, to the line of force.

Standard SI units are Force in newtons and r in meters. The units of torque match the units of the input force (F) times the units of the distance (l).

Since torque is a measure of force causing a rotation about a specific point, the torque can be both positive (causing counter-clockwise rotation) or negative (causing clockwise rotation).

In the picture, the force, vecF, will cause a counter-clockwise rotation about the pivot point, P.   The magnitude of the force will be defined by tau = vecF * L.