1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Odd torque problem

  1. Aug 13, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The question asks, What is the net torque about the axle? Pictured is a square of sidelength .1 m, the pivot is placed on the bottom left corner. A force vector of magnitude 50 N points parallel to the left side and toward the pivot. Another equal force vector points north along the right side of the square. At the risk of being chastised I have included a picture.

    2. Relevant equations
    Torque = FxR or force(moment arm)
    A force vector pointing toward the pivot exerts no torque.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Torque = (50N)(.1 m)= 5Nm

    Inexplicably (to me), the answer is 4.3 Nm.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    2017 Award

    How do you know that anwer ?
  4. Aug 14, 2014 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Looks like an incorrect answer was provided, or perhaps the square has a mass that's not mentioned in the problem statement?
  5. Aug 14, 2014 #4
    4.3 Nm is the answer provided in the back of the book. There doesn't appear to be anything about the mass of the square, but even if there was, wouldn't the answer remain 5.0 Nm? I suspected the solution was wrong but I thought I'd post it to make sure I wasn't missing something.
  6. Aug 14, 2014 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A gravitational force would act vertically through the center of mass, which is not aligned with the point of rotation, but a typo in the solutions is the more likely scenario.
  7. Aug 14, 2014 #6
    Oh yeah, that would make sense. I suppose one could work backward to find the mass of the square give the net torque. Would it be accurate to say if the torque from gravity is .7 Nm, then .7 = (mg)(.05) => m = 14/g?
    Seems an odd number. Oh well, I think i's fair to chat this up to a typo in the solutions as well. Thanks for your time.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted