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Homework Help: Torque direction using right hand rule

  1. Dec 2, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am confused on the drawing below, is the direction of the torque exerted by tension T1 positive or negative?

    http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/5190/katrolrh3.jpg [Broken]
    http://g.imageshack.us/img444/katrolrh3.jpg/1/ [Broken]
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'd say it's positive, as using the right hand rule.. my thumb points towards me... is this right?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2008 #2
    I think that would be correct if you were saying that the counterclockwise direction is positive. That would make T2 negative, if that makes sense.
  4. Dec 2, 2008 #3
    Since the torque is a vector, whether it is "positive" or "negative" depends on how you choose your axis. You are right, the torque points towards you. Asking whether this is positive or negative, without knowing the coordinate axes, is meaningless.
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