# Calculating torque for a bent lever

1. Aug 6, 2010

### sfsy1

[PLAIN]http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/8218/diagram.gif [Broken]

to calculate the torque (N*x) which one is correct? the one on top, or below.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
2. Aug 6, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

I don't understand the question. The fact that the lever is bent doesn't matter. To find the torque, you want the perpendicular distance from the line of action of the force to the pivot. If N and x are the same, the torque is the same for both diagrams.

3. Aug 6, 2010

### sfsy1

sorry the diagram is unclear, but the X is different for the first case, and the second case, N is the same.

4. Aug 6, 2010

### sfsy1

but anyway, i think i understand it now, thanks!

5. Aug 6, 2010

### Staff: Mentor

I think I know what you're asking. Imagine a straight line connecting the end of the lever to the pivot. To maximize the torque for a given force, you want the force to be perpendicular to that line. (Neither diagram shows that.) That will maximize your value for X.

6. Aug 6, 2010

### sfsy1

thanks for your help!