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I have to do a presentation on rotation and torque for my physics class any ideas? Its suppose to be geared towards elementary age children.
- Elizabeth Oliveira (age 19)
Indiana, PA USA
On of my favorite torque demos is to show the class different sized
wrenches. They all know that the bigger wrenches are good for loosening
big stuck nuts etc, but perhaps they did not know that the fundamental
reason for this is that the bigger lever-arm provided by these tools
allows the user to put a bigger torque (twist) on the nut.
The kids probably also have the correct idea that the best thing to
do with a wrench is to push or pull on the handle at right angles to
Both notions (long lever arm and pushing at right angles) come
about because torque is the product of the lever arm and the
perpendicular component of the applied force. The best way to maximize
this is to apply the force at right angles to the lever-arm, as far as
possible from the axis or rotation.
(republished on 07/13/06)
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