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Homework Help: Torque vs Work through Distance

  1. Nov 30, 2011 #1
    I know that torque is a vector quantity, whereas work is scalar.

    But, in terms of the distances, what makes torque and work different?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2011 #2


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    Torque (T) is a vector equal to r X F, where F is the force and r is the position vector (in length units) from a chosen point. When torque produces a rotation , theta, the work (W) done by that Torque is derived as W = T*(theta) (for constant torque and circular motion), where the angle theta, in radians, represents the angular 'distance' travelled. Work has no direction, but can be positive or negative. The units of work and torque are the same, but torque and work are not the same.
  4. Nov 30, 2011 #3
    Thanks so much for the quick response -- that makes much more sense now.
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