We have already looked at torque as the "rotational force" or the "rotational effect of a force" -- applied to rotation about a fixed axis. Click here to REVIEW that. Now we will extend those ideas and expand them to include more general rotations.

We can define the torque as

or, to emphasize the vector nature of all these things,

Remember, the direction of the torque is determined by the "right hand rule".

Vector Product

Angular Momentum
Return to ToC, Ch11, Rolling Motion

(c) Doug Davis, 2001; all rights reserved