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Analogy for Curl with Torque: Correct?

  1. Mar 31, 2012 #1
    I'm studying Curl. And I would like to know if Curl can be correctly understood this way.
    Imagine a spanner. It's mouth is A and the end is B.
    Imagine if the spanner was a vector pointing from A to B.
    If a torque acts on it the spanner will rotate.
    Can curl be understood as something like a torque that acts on the spanner (vector) when the mouth "walks" in the direction of the vector?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2012 #2

    Char. Limit

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    Gold Member

    Well, torque and curl ARE both described as a cross product. So I'd say so.
  4. Apr 3, 2012 #3
    But can I say with confidence:

    The curl turns the direction of [itex]\vec{v}[/itex], exactly the same way some torque, codirectional with the curl, would change the direction of [itex]\vec{v}[/itex]?

    Edit: I'm not sure "curl turns the direchation of [itex]\vec{v}[/itex]" makes sense because I ven't understood it very well yet.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
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