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PHYS-2010: General Physics I
Course Lecture Notes
Section X

Dr. Donald G. Luttermoser
East Tennessee State University
Edition 2.3
These class notes are designed for use of the instructor and students of the coursePHYS-2010:
General Physics Itaught by Dr. Donald Luttermoser at East Tennessee State University. These
notes make reference to theCollege Physics, 7th Edition (2005) textbook by Serway and Faughn.
X. Rotational Equilibrium and Rotational Dynamics
A. Torque.
1.The ability of a force to rotate a body about some axis is mea-
sured by a quantity calledtorque\u03c4 (Greek letter \u2018tau\u2019).
a)The torque due to a force of\ue000
Fhas a magnitude of
\u03c4= Fd .

i)\u03c4\u2261torque (N\u00b7m).
ii)F\u2261applied force (N).
iii)d\u2261lever arm (also called themoment arm) dis-

b)The lever armis the\u22a5 distance from the axis of rotation
to a line drawn along the direction of the force. Note that
d= rsin \u03c6 ,
wherer is the magnitude of the displacement from the
axis to the point of the applied force\ue000
Fand \u03c6is the angle
between the direction of\ue000r and the direction of\ue000
c)As a result, we can rewrite the torque equation (Eq. X-1)
\u03c4= rFsin \u03c6 .

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