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College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 353

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Short Answer

Question: Give an example in which a small force exerts a large torque. Give another example in which a large force exerts a small torque.

The rotating equivalent of force is torque (τ). See-saw, opening of a door are good example of torque.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Definition of the torque

The tendency of a force to cause or affect the rotational motion of a body is known as torque (also known as moment or moment of force). It is a force that twists or turns an object.

Step 2: Example of the torque

The force that can cause an object to revolve along an axis is defined as torque.


Here, r is the distance, and F is the applied force.

1. You all in real life, should experiences some examples of torque. One among them is, Seesaws

You may see or experience that, a large person sitting on the one end of the seesaw and small one the other end. If a large person sitting near to the pivot point of seesaw, smaller one away from it. Each person experiences different torque. The larger person exerts a larger force, because he/she is near to the pivot point, so their lever arm is shorter, hence a smaller torque. Which shows larger force exerts a small torque.

2. Another example is Opening a door.

When we apply a force to the hinge line of a door, it will not open. So, if you want to open the door, you have to push/pull the doorknob, which is far from the hinge line. You are giving a perpendicular push/pull to the plane of the door. Here, you are applying a small force but large tourque.

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