# Torque

Torque – Mechanics-twisting force that tends to cause rotation.

Despite the rather short definition, torque is a concept that is incredibly important to everyday life. First, torque is a measurement of how much force per area is being exerted to a particular object. Most commonly, torque is observed in levers.  In physics and engineering, torque is mathematically represented by saying that: torque is equal to the force applied, multiplied by the length of the lever arm. This means that if you apply a one-pound force to a 5 foot lever arm, you will be generating 5 foot-pounds of torque (foot-pound is the American measurement of torque, in the metric system torque is representing by the Newton-meter but we`ll stick with the American form).  Basically, torque allows you to multiply the force you are applying to an object, this is where the term, “leveraging” comes from.

Alright, torque allows someone to multiply the force they are using but, “where is the importance to everyday life?” The answer is a transmission in a car. Before you say, “now just hold up, transmissions are made out of gears and not levers,” let me explain that not all levers look like crowbars.  Torque is coming from the gears inside the transmission. When a small gear rotates in time with a larger gear it is in effect applying a leveraging force to it.   The best way to think about this is to imagine a lever connected to the center of the gear petruding out to the gear tooth.  The drive gear is “pushing” on the leaver or tooth which turns the gear.

The result is the larger gear now has more torque than the smaller one.  But this increase in torque comes at a cost, the larger gear turns slower than the smaller gear.  Go through this process a few more times and you will end up with a final gear that has many more times the torque than the starting one had. What does this mean for your car? Well, for one it means that your car can accelerate faster, so when you step on the throttle like a speed demon you will accelerate faster. It also means that your car can haul more weight. The downside of increasing the torque through gearing is that it will decrease the overall top speed or maximum velocity of vehicle.

I`m sorry I don`t have a sarcastic note at the end

-Mike