# Intuition for forces & torques

1. Oct 4, 2012

### decerto

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. Oct 4, 2012

### tiny-tim

hello decerto!
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

3. Oct 4, 2012

### decerto

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

4. Oct 4, 2012

### tiny-tim

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

5. Oct 4, 2012

### Studiot

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.

6. Oct 5, 2012

### decerto

I suppose I'm talking about an impulse

Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
7. Oct 5, 2012

### Studiot

So we are talking billiards, pool or snooker perhaps?

8. Oct 5, 2012

Sorry?