Newton's Laws for Rotation Top » Consulting » Tutorials » Linear & Rot. Equiv. » Newton… Rotation » Torque & Precession

 Contents:   ● Linear & Rotational Equiv.   ● Rotational Form of Newton's Laws   ● Torque & Precession

It is simplest to view the torque as consisting of two pieces:

• One part that has the same direction as the object's rotation axis, and
• One part that is at a right angle to the rotation axis.

The portion of the torque that lines up with the object's rotation axis will change its angular speed, just the way that a linear force acting along the direction that an object is sliding will change its linear speed - it will speed up if they act in the same direction, or slow down if they are in opposite directions.

The part of the torque that acts at a right angle to the spin direction will not make the object's rotation speed up or slow down, however. It will change the spin direction - a phenomenon known as precession.

 Precession Torque (Standard View)

 Precession Torque (Top View)