# Difference Between Torque and Force

Torque and force are two concepts that are often used in the field of mechanics. While both of these concepts deal with the movement of objects, they are different in terms of their nature, application, and effect.

## What is Torque?

Torque is the measure of the rotational force that is applied to an object. It is a vector quantity that is defined as the product of force and the distance between the force and the axis of rotation. In simpler terms, it is the force that is used to twist or turn an object around an axis. Torque is commonly used in the context of rotating systems, such as engines, turbines, and motors.

### How is Torque Measured?

There is an equation that can be used for calculating torque, namely, . In this equation, F is a linear force; r is the distance between the force and the axis of rotation, while theta is the angle between both the axis of rotation and the application of the linear force.

The unit of measurement used for torque in the metric system is the Newton-meter (symbol N-m). The English unit that is used for the measurement of torque is the foot-pound. The units include distance because torque is related to distance as well as to the force that is being applied to the object.

### Examples of Torque

There are multiple examples of torque from everyday life. For instance, turning a key in a lock or even turning a door knob to open a door are all examples of torque. Levers work based on the principle of torque as well, and anybody who has had to loosen a lug nut understands the motion involved with torque.

## What is Force?

Force is the measure of the push or pull that is applied to an object. It is a vector quantity that is defined as the product of mass and acceleration. Force is used to describe the effect of one object on another, such as the force exerted by a hammer on a nail or the force exerted by the earth on an object due to gravity.

### How is Force Measured?

The unit of measurement that is used for force is the Newton (symbol N). A Newton is equivalent to the amount of force that is required in order to set in motion and move an object weighing one kilogram a distance of one meter per second per second.

The English system of units uses the Pound as the unit of measure of force. In this case, one pound of force is seen as equivalent to the acceleration at 32.17 feet per second of a one-pound object.

Force (F) can often be calculated as mass (m) times acceleration (a), so the equation is F = ma. Based on this equation, the acceleration of an object will be related to the force and mass of the object. This means that more force would be needed to move an object that is of a higher mass than an object that is of a lower mass.

## Differences: Torque and Force

One of the key differences between torque and force is their application. Torque is typically used in situations where there is a need to rotate an object, such as in the case of a motor or engine. In contrast, force is used in situations where there is a need to move an object in a particular direction, such as in the case of pushing or pulling an object.

Another difference between the two concepts is their effect on an object. Torque causes an object to rotate around an axis, while force causes an object to move in a particular direction. For example, when a wrench is used to tighten a bolt, the torque applied to the wrench causes the bolt to rotate, while the force applied to the wrench causes it to move in a particular direction.

Finally, torque and force are measured in different units. Torque is typically measured in newton-meters (Nm) or foot-pounds (ft-lbs), while force is measured in Newtons (N) or pounds-force (lbf).

The following table highlights the major differences between Torque and Force −

Characteristics

Torque

Force

Definition

Torque is when a force is applied to a particular object that results in the object moving by rotating around an axis.

A force is some type of action that results in a body changing in motion or altering the path of motion.

Type of acceleration

The type of acceleration involved with torque is always angular.

The type of acceleration of force is mostly linear.

Equation

The mathematical equation that is often used to calculate torque is T = F x r x sin (theta).

The mathematical equation that is often used to determine force is F = ma.

Metric unit of measurement

The Newton-meter is the metric unit of measurement that is used when calculating torque.

The Newton is the metric unit used when measuring force.

English unit of measurement

The English unit of measurement which is used for torque is the foot-pound.

The English unit of measurement which is used for force is the pound.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, torque and force are two distinct concepts that are used in the field of mechanics. While both are important in their own right, they have different applications, effects, and units of measurement.

Understanding the difference between these two concepts is crucial for anyone working in the field of mechanics, as it allows them to use the appropriate tools and techniques to achieve their desired outcomes.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2023

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