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Intuition for forces & torques

  1. Oct 4, 2012 #1
    Does the line of a force applied need to go through the centre of mass to cause translational acceleration?

    I have follow up questions regarding the answer to this simple question which I cant find the answer for anywhere
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2012 #2


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    hello decerto! :smile:
    any force will cause translational acceleration (if the body is free)

    if its line does not pass through the centre of mass, then there will also be a rotational acceleration
  4. Oct 4, 2012 #3
    Ok thanks, the follow up question is related to the fact both torque and force do work, how is this work distributed for set amount of energy.

    Say a force is applied not through the centre of mass by something with the ability to do X amount of work on a rigid body, what decides how much of that work goes into changing the kinetic energy vs changing the rotational energy
  5. Oct 4, 2012 #4


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    i'm not aware of any simple formula

    it would depend on the ratio of the moment of inertia of the body to its mass
  6. Oct 4, 2012 #5
    How do you apply a force "with the ability to do x amount of work" ?

    If you apply a single force to a body it will continue to accelerate indefinitely.
  7. Oct 5, 2012 #6
    I suppose I'm talking about an impulse
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. Oct 5, 2012 #7
    So we are talking billiards, pool or snooker perhaps?
  9. Oct 5, 2012 #8
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