This course teaches introductory physics students how to calculate torque and how to set up free body diagrams and solve problems involving torque. Torque is one of the trickiest concepts in introductory physics, and it is quite common for students to stumble with it at first.
This course is designed to teach you the fundamentals as quickly as possible. Using short-and-sweet videos, this course breaks torque skills into bite-sized chunks and gives lots of practice with detailed examples and rapid-fire calculations in which you pause the video to try the problem and then resume to see how you did. You can save time by using this interactivity to master torque in one shot, and you can also pick and choose individual topics to review specific skills or even speed up or slow down each video to help you understand it better.
The vast majority of this course is video. There is also a PDF worksheet that you may optionally print out to help you understand some hands-on concepts.
Before taking this course, students should understand vectors, especially vector components. It can help if students already know how to use geometry and trigonometry to find angles between lines, although this is demonstrated in many examples.
The goal of this course is to give you the benefits of a private tutor at a fraction of the cost. This course is perfect for students who need to catch up with their class on their own time, who don't learn well by reading their textbook, or who want to learn tricks and techniques to master torque faster and easier than studying on their own.
Welcome to the course! This video gives a short introduction to this course.
This video explains how to calculate the torque magnitude using tau = r F sin(theta), and explains the fundamental concepts in calculating torque, including the force, position vector, and pivot point.
This video demonstrates how to calculate torque using 5 examples from two different scenarios.
This rapid-fire calculation exercise gives you a chance to practice calculating torque hands-on. There are 6 examples in total, and after each problem is explained you're given a 5 second countdown timer in which to solve the problem or pause while you solve it at your leisure. Then you can compare your results with the correct answer to see how you did.
This video shows you how to determine the direction for each torque by looking at the force in relation to the pivot point.
This video demonstrates a completely different method - that is literally hands on - to determine the direction of torque for a given force. To get the most out of this video, I highly recommend that you print out the accompanying PDF worksheet and try the technique while watching the video.
This video demonstrates how to find the direction of torque using the same examples as for the torque magnitude so you can see how the magnitude and direction go together.
This rapid-fire calculation exercise gives you a chance to determine the torque magnitude and direction very quickly, so you can try it along with the video to refine your skills.
This lecture shows an alternative method for calculating the torque - both magnitude and direction - when you have vector components. This is a more advanced technique that isn't required but can help you save time during exams.
This video provides and explains a checklist for ensuring that your free body diagram (FBD) contains the right details to set yourself up for success in solving torque problems.
This video shows an example of how to set up the FBD for a given scenario.
This video explains how to write the net torque equation for a given FBD.
This video completes the previous example by writing the net torque equation and solving the problem for the unknown forces that Max exerts on his pizza peel.
This lecture shows you how to set up the FBD for a decelerating car so that you can solve for the different friction forces on the front and back wheels.
This lecture presents a problem and challenges you to draw the FBD before finishing the video to check your work.
This lecture sets up the net torque equation based on the FBD from the previous lecture, and then solves the equation to determine the answer to the original problem.
Thank you so much for your time in completing this course!
Scott started his career as a Mission Operations Analyst, performing tens of thousands of physics-based computer simulations of the robotic arms on the International Space Station, and providing real-time support to space shuttle missions, over a period of more than 7 years. Always passionate about teaching, Scott conducted some astronaut training at the Canadian Space Agency, and then transitioned to teaching physics at Vanier College in Montreal. After more than 3 years of teaching, Scott retired from full-time employment to spend more time with his growing family. Scott's teaching bug persisted, and Scott soon started tutoring college physics students and creating YouTube videos to help explain concepts at the right level for introductory college physics.