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Q & A: force and torque

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Most recent answer: 10/02/2014
Q:
If I have a rigid object and I apply a force through the centre of mass then if I take the rotation of the object about some point it comes out to be zero even though there is an unbalanced force why?
- Shashank (age 19)
Delhi, India
A:

Think of which way something rotates when a force is exerted on it. Push forward on the right side and it will turn counter-clockwise, as seen from above. Push forward on the left side and it will turn clockwise. Somehwere in between is the point where it won't turn either way. That's the point where the force is directed right at the center of mass. There's still an acceleration in the direction of the force, just no change of rotation.

Mike W.


(published on 10/02/2014)

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