Torque vs Force: Comparative Analysis


In this article, we will be dealing with the comparative analysis of torque vs force.

When applied to any material, force is a form of action that causes a change in shape, motion, and properties. In comparison, torque can be considered a force that always comes into action during the rotation of any object at a fixed axis point. The main difference is that force occurs linearly, whereas torque occurs during rotational motion.

Attributes of ComparisionTorqueForce
    MeaningThe simple way we can define torque is the amount of force applied to make a body rotate on its axis at a fixed point.Force, in general, is defined as the form of push or pull action that causes a change of shape or movement in the object.
Type of motionTorque is always observed in rotational motion.Force is always observed in linear motion.
Nature of AccelerationAngular AccelerationLinear Acceleration
Mathematical Expressionτ = F × r × sin θF = m × a
International Standard UnitIt is always expressed in Nm (Newton – meters)It is always expressed in Newton (N).
Nature of QuantityIt is a vector in natureEven force is a vector in nature
Derivative quantityAngular momentum is obtained if torque is derived using the time quantity.If force is derived using the time quantity, linear momentum is obtained.
English system of the measurement unitIt is measured using Feet-pound, an English unit of measurement.It is measured using Pound in the English unit of measurement.
ExampleWorking of gears in any engineLifting any object

The differences mentioned above are some of the fundamental comparative analyses of torque vs force. Both torque and force are a form of action that helps the displacement of any material or body. But the significant difference between them is the type of motion one acts in rotational whereas the other occurs in a linear path.

Torque and Force: Detailed Analysis

Both torque and force can be understood  as follows,

Torque

Torque is a type of force usually observed in rotating objects. It is an inevitable push or pulls action used on anybody to make it undergo rotation on its fixed axis. Sometimes torque even refers to the rotational force, rotational moment, etc. Only the term changes, but the reference of torque remains the same.

torque vs force
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Force

Force in physics can be defined as the form of push or pull action when applied to any material that makes it move on a linear path. It is indeed used to change the shape position of the material. Force has several types, such as gravitational, static, friction, etc.

torque vs force
 
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Now to understand the nature of torque and force.

Nature of quantities of torque and force

The torque and force indicate both displacement and magnitude of object on which the push or pull action is applied.

  • Both torque and force are vector quantities.
  • The force depends on the body’s mass, while torque depends on the angle.
  • The force depends on the linear acceleration of the material or object while torque on rotational acceleration.
  • Torque of the body depends on the push or pull action performed on it is the same even in the case of force.
  • Even torque depends on the angle of displacement between the objects.

These are some essential quantities of both force and torque.

Different Examples of torque

The various examples of torque that is seen in real life are given below,

  • Torque is beneficial in gears that play an essential role in the functioning of combustion engines.
  • In lock and key mechanism, torque is a force that is essential in rotating the key; the more the torque, it helps to open it quickly.
  • Torque is also observed in the rotation of the fan.
  • The working of the doorknob is also an essential example of torque.
  • Torque is also observed in electrical appliances such as mixers, grinders, etc.
torque vs force
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Now let us know the primary examples of force.

Different Examples of Force

The various examples of force that is seen in real life are given below,

  • When you walk, run, jog, jump, etc., all these actions require force.
  • While playing any sports such as hitting a golf ball kicking a ball, badminton requires force to come into action.
  • Even while lifting a box or pushing an object, force is necessary.
  • While doing necessary house chores such as washing the clothes, cleaning the dirt requires force.
torque vs force
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Now to know the mathematical expressions of both torque and force.

Read More: Example of static electricity

Mathematical Expressions for torque and force

The detailed explanations of mathematical expressions of torque and force are given as follows,

Torque

The basic formula to calculate torque in mathematical terms is written as shown,

                                                          τ = F × r × sin θ

Here,

F refers to the amount of force that acts on the object

r indicates the length between the surface on which the force acts and the angle of the rotating motion

sin θ refers to the angle of force that acts on the body

τ refers to the magnitude of the amount of torque acting on the object, which is indicated by the Greek word tau.

Force

In theoretical terms, the force can be defined as measuring the effort applied to make the object come under motion; the total force is calculated by considering both mass and acceleration of the body.

The formula that is used to measure force is given below,

                               F = m × a

Here,

F refers to the force required to bring the object into action.

m indicates the mass of the body on which the force acts.

a refers to the acceleration that tells about the velocity of the object.

Now to study the significant facts of force and torque.

Significant facts about force and torque

The significant facts of torque and force can be given considering its motion and quantity.

  • Both torque and force help the object to undergo motion.
  • They follow different categories of path force in linear and torque in rotational.
  • Torque and force constitute displacement direction and even the amount of its magnitude.
  • The momentum calculated using force is obtained as the linear momentum of an object, while that of torque is obtained as angular momentum.
  • The acceleration calculated using force is obtained as the linear acceleration of the object, while that of torque is obtained as angular acceleration.
  • Torque is represented using Newton-meters, whereas force is represented using Newton.
  • The force of any material depends on the mass and acceleration, while torque depends on the force angle.
  • Both torque and force are the same action forms that act in different media.

It was all about the comparative analysis of torque vs force.

Mention the relationship between torque and force of the object?

The typical relation between torque and force is specific actions performed on the objects in different motions.

Let’s consider the mathematical expression for both torque and force. We can say that torque depends on the rotation angle at which the rotation occurs and force on the acceleration and mass. Both are a combination of specific physical quantities.

Read More: Static vs kinetic friction

Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs

What is the simple definition of force related to motion?

There will be some amount of force whenever necessary interaction between two bodies.

In terms of motion, we can tell that a force which is a push and pulls action, is required to form the interaction between any two things to indulge a motion in them. For a motion to occur, a force is required.

What is the simple definition of torque?

In physics, we can define torque as a form of force that helps rotate a body.

It is a type of force usually takes place in a rotational motion. When applied to a body, it is an action that gives it a tendency to rotate in a specific path.

How can we differentiate force from torque?

We can differentiate force from torque in terms of the kinematics in which it takes place.

Torque is a kind of force that acts on any object to make it move in the circular path; it is measured as the product of the magnitude of the force and its perpendicular displacement from the fixed axis of the rotational path. In comparison, force is calculated on a straight path.

Is force always equal to torque?

Force and torque can not be the same since they make objects move in different motions.

Since both acts along different paths require a different amount of effort to make the object get into displacement along their respective paths.

Raghavi Acharya

I am Raghavi Acharya, I have completed my post-graduation in physics with a specialization in the field of condensed matter physics. Having a very good understanding in Latex, gnu-plot and octave. I have always considered Physics to be a captivating area of study and I enjoy exploring the various fields of this subject. In my free time, I engage myself in digital art. My articles are aimed towards delivering the concepts of physics in a very simplified manner to the readers. Let’s connect through - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raghavi-c-s-260a801b1 EMAIL ID: raghavics6@gmail.com

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