Examples in which Forces cause Rotation

Examples in which Forces cause Rotation

  • Forces cause rotation when they are applied at a distance from the centre of mass. This is known as a “torque” or turning force.

  • A common example of a force causing rotation is the way in which opening a door works. When you push the door at the handle, which is far from the door’s rotating axis (at its hinges), the door rotates and opens.

  • In sports like tennis or golf, the racket or club applies a force to the ball off-centred, causing the ball to spin. This is known as “spin” and can affect the trajectory of the ball.

  • Another example is riding a bike. When you push down on the pedals, the force you apply causes the pedals, and thus the wheels, to rotate.

  • When you turn a screwdriver, the force you apply at the handle produces a rotational motion, which is used to drive the screw into the material.

  • The turning of car wheels is an example of how an engine’s linear force can be transferred into rotational movement, allowing the car to move.

  • In all these cases, the larger the force applied and the further from the centre of rotation it is applied, the greater the rotation will be. This is the principle of leverage, used in many tools to make tasks easier.

  • It is important to note that rotation of an object also depends on its moment of inertia. The moment of inertia depends on both the mass of the object and how this mass is distributed around the axis of rotation.

  • In cases where multiple forces are applied at different points causing rotation, these forces can either add up or cancel each other. This depends on the direction and where on the object’s body the force is applied.

  • Torque is also affected by the angle at which the force is applied. If a force is applied perpendicular to the object, it will result in the maximum possible rotational effect. But when the same force is applied at a smaller angle, the torque decreases.