Torque vs Force: Difference and Comparison

Everything in this Universe is held together by the different forces acting between them. The gravitational force, centrifugal force, centripetal force, Torque, moment, momentum, and many more works upon each of them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Torque is a twisting or rotating force that causes an object to rotate around an axis, while force is any push or pull on an object that can cause it to move or change its shape.
  2. Torque is measured in units of force multiplied by distance, while force is measured in units of mass multiplied by acceleration.
  3. Torque is more relevant when dealing with rotating objects, while force is more relevant when dealing with static objects.

Torque vs. Force

According to the International System of Units, known as SI unit, the Torque is expressed in Newton-meters (N-m), whereas Force is described in Newton (N). Also, Torque is considered to be a pseudovector, while force is said to be an actual vector.

Torque vs Force

Torque is a force applied to any object, making it revolve around its axis. Torque is donated with the Greek letter ‘τ,’ spelled as ‘tau.’

Force is stated as any action which causes motion in any object. The term is based on three laws of Newton, along with the object’s mass and the object’s acceleration.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTorqueForce
Definition It is defined as the force when applied on an object that results in its rotation of it on its axis.It is defined as any action that results in an object’s motion.
Type of AccelerationIt shows angular acceleration always.It shows linear acceleration
Formulaτ = F × r × sin θF = m × a
SI Unit Newton-metersNewton
English Measurement Unit Foot-poundPound

What is Torque?

In simple words, Torque is defined as the force acting upon an object, making it revolve around its axis. The meaning and name of the term change according to the field of study, as sometimes it is referred to as moment, a moment of force, rotational force, etc. 

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The Torque of an object depends upon the force acting over it, the distance between the force and the angle, and the angle on which it acts upon. In mathematical terms, the expression for calculating Torque is as follows – 

τ = F × r × sin θ

where F = the force acting upon the object 

r = the distance between the area of the force acting and the angle 

sin θ = the angle at which force is working upon

τ in the expression is known as ‘tau’ and is a Greek letter word that is used to denote the magnitude of Torque. The SI unit of the Torque is said to be Newton-meters (N-m). 

The time derivative of the Torque is said to be the angular momentum. And is known to be a pseudovector. 

Some examples of Torque based on daily lives are – 

  1. When we enter a room and open the door using the doorknob, it is rotated because of the Torque working on it. 
  2. The rotation of a key in a keyhole is also one example. 
  3. Designing levers and combustion engines requires an excellent knowledge of Torque.
torque

What is Force?

Force is an action that brings motion to an object or keeps it in motion. There are many types of forces that can be categorized: gravitational force, friction, surface tension, and many more. 

Theoretically, Force can be measured by calculating the object’s mass and the acceleration in which the object is moving continuously or moved. And in mathematical terms, it is expressed as follows – 

F = m × a

Where m = mass of the object 

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a = the acceleration of the body 

The SI unit of the Force is said to be the Newton (N), while according to the English Measurement Units, Force is expressed in Pounds.

The time derivative of the Force is said to be the linear momentum. Also, it is known to be the actual vector and has a specific direction of it.

Some examples of Force related to daily lives are –  

  1. Walking 
  2. Kicking a football
  3. Pushing a box
force

Main Differences Between Torque and Force

  1. The English Measurement Units for the Torque and Force are Foot-pound and Pound.
  2. The expression via which Torque is calculated is “F × r × sin θ” whereas the force is expressed by “m × a.” 
Difference Between Torque and Force
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0099239905600350
  2. https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1119/1.16260
  3. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0w3342zg
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-002-0638-9

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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26 thoughts on “Torque vs Force: Difference and Comparison”

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