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Chapter 9

Torque

Student learning objectives


To extend the particle model to the
extended object (rigid-body) model.
To understand the static equilibrium of an
extended rigid body.

Opening a door
Consider the common experience of pushing open a
door. Shown is a top view of a door hinged on the left.
Four pushing forces are shown, all of equal strength.
Which of these will be most effective at opening the
door?

The ability of a force to cause a rotation depends on


three factors:
1. the magnitude F of the force.
2. the radial distance r from the point of application of
the force to the hinge, or pivot.
3. the angle at which the force is applied.

Some vocabulary
Line of action, line of force (F) (blue dashed
line) the line along which the force acts.
Axis of rotation (hinge, pivot) in the examples
above, the axis of rotation is out of the page (z
axis).

More Vocabulary
Radial axis (r), all or part of the top of the door the radial axis is the distance between the hinge
and the application of the force. The radial axis due
to F4 is less than that of the other forces.

More Vocabulary
Lever arm () (moment arm) red dashed line the
line that makes a 900 between the axis of rotation
and the line of action. In the first diagram, the lever
arm and the radial axis coincide. In the third
diagram, there is no lever arm.

Magnitude of Torque = (Magnitude of the force) x (Lever arm)

= r sin
Where is the angle between the line of action and the radial axis
Direction of Torque: The torque is positive when the force tends to
produce a counterclockwise rotation about the axis.
SI Unit of Torque: newton x meter (Nm) Not the same a Joule!

9.1 The Action of Forces and Torques on Rigid Objects

The amount of torque depends on where and in what direction the


force is applied, as well as the location of the axis of rotation.

Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the


five torques a e. The rods all have the
same length and are pivoted at the dot.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

EOC #8 Extended body


The left end of the meter stick is pinned to the table so the
stick can rotate freely parallel to the table top. Two
forces, both parallel to the table are applied to the stick.
The net torque is zero. The forces and angles are
shown. How far from the pivot point (or axis of rotation)
is the 6.00 N force applied?

EOC #8 - Analysis
The drawing below acts as an extended free body diagram.
The weight force and the normal force from the table are
parallel to the axis of rotation (pivot point), and provide
no torque. The 6.00 N force tends to cause cw rotation,
so the torque about the pivot from that force is negative.
The 4.00 N force tends to cause ccw rotation, so the
torque about the pivot from that force is positive. Since
the problem states the net torque is zero, these two
torques must have an equal magnitude.
knowns
Find r2
F1 = 4.00N
1 = 90
F2 = 6.00 N
2 = 60
r1 = 1 m
=Fr(sin )

EOC #8 - Answer
= 0
1 2 = 0
F1r1(sin 1) F2 r2 (sin 2) = 0
4 N(1m) 6N (r sin 60) = 0
r = 0.77 m

knowns
Find r2
F1 = 4.00N
1 = 90
F2 = 6.00 N
2 = 60
r1 = 1 m
=Fr(sin )

EQUILIBRIUM OF A RIGID BODY

A rigid body is in equilibrium if:

This analysis will most likely involve multiple equations


with more than one unknown.

DEFINITION OF CENTER OF GRAVITY


The center of gravity(cg)
of a rigid body is the
location at which its
weight can be considered
to act when the torque
due to the weight is being
calculated.
An object of uniform
density (uniform object)
has a cg at its center.

Reasoning Strategy
1. Select the object to which the equations for equilibrium are to be

applied.
2. This is the most important step. Draw an extended free-body diagram
that shows all of the external forces acting on the object. You will no
longer be able to use a particle to represent the object.
3. The weight force acts at the center of gravity. Assume the center of
gravity is at the mid point of the object, unless told otherwise.
4. Apply Newtons 1st Law (since ma=0 for equilibrium) in component
form.
5. Select a pivot point where one or more of the unknown forces will have
a torque of zero. Set the sum of the torques about this axis equal to
zero. The pivot you pick does not have to be an actual axis of
rotation for this object!
6. Solve the equations for the desired unknown quantities.

EOC #12
A uniform plank of length 5.0
m and weight 225 N rests
horizontally on two supports,
with 1.1 m of the plank
hanging over the right
support (see the drawing). To
what distance x can a person
who weighs 380 N walk on
the overhanging part of the
plank before it just begins to
tip?

EOC #27
A man holds a 178-N ball in
his hand. The forearm
weighs 22 N and has a cg
as shown.
a. Find the magnitude of M
b. Find the magnitude and
direction of the force
applied by the upper arm
bone to the forearm at
the elbow joint

EOC #27
A man holds a 178-N ball in
his hand. The forearm
weighs 22 N and has a cg
as shown.
a. Find the magnitude of M
b. Find the magnitude and
direction of the force
applied by the upper arm
bone to the forearm at the
elbow joint
c. M = 1.21 x 103 N
d. F (bone) = 1.01 x 103

EOC 29
An inverted V is made of
uniform boards and
weights 356 N. Each
side has the same
length and makes the
angle shown with the
vertical. Find the
magnitude of the static
frictional force that acts
on the lower end of
each leg of the V.

EOC 29
An inverted V is made of
uniform boards and
weighs 356 N. Each
side has the same
length and makes the
angle shown with the
vertical. Find the
magnitude of the static
frictional force that acts
on the lower end of
each leg of the V.

Fb

Fn

Fg
fs

Since F = 0 in
both directions:
Fn = Fg = 356N/2
Fb = fs
Find: fs

EOC 29
For the board to be in
static equilibrium:
about ANY axis = 0.
Therefore pick an axis
of rotation which:
Gets rid of as many
unknowns as possible
Keeps the unknown we
are looking for or
something equal to it.

Fb

Fn

Fg
fs

Since F = 0 in
both directions:
Fn = Fg = 356N/2
Find: Fb = fs

EOC 29
Lets choose the point where
the left leg touches the floor
floor = 0.
Fn and fs provide 0 torque
since they act towards the
pivot point.
floor = Fb(L cos 30)-Fg(L/2
sin 30) = 0
Fb = fs = 51.4 N

Fb

Fn

Fg
fs

Since F = 0 in
both directions:
Fn = Fg = 356N/2
Find: Fb = fs

Will the ladder slip?


A 3.0-m long ladder
leans against a
frictionless wall at an
angle of 60. What is
the minimum value of
us that prevents the
ladder from slipping?

Will the ladder slip?


A 3.0-m long ladder
leans against a
frictionless wall at an
angle of 60. What is
the minimum value of
us that prevents the
ladder from slipping?

Will the ladder slip?


A 3.0-m long ladder
leans against a
frictionless wall at an
angle of 60. What is
the minimum value of
us that prevents the
ladder from slipping?
Answer:
us-min = tan 30 = 0.29