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What Is The Difference Between Torque and Force?

September 5, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

The difference between torque and force is that force causes movement while torque does not. If you place a heavy object on top of a lighter object, the heavier object will fall down because it experiences a greater force than the lighter object.

However, if you rotate the objects together, then the lighter object will stay still while the heavier object will continue moving.

What is Force?

Force is the pushing or pulling power exerted on an object. A person applying force to a rope would cause the rope to pull back. If the same person were to push down on the rope, the rope would move forward. In physics, force is defined as the product of mass and acceleration.

Acoording to the second law of motion the force is defined as


The force is measured in Newton.

The force of motion between the surfaces of two objects in contact is called the force of Friction.

image showing the a type of froce

What is torque?

Torque is the twisting force applied to a rotating body. When we apply torque to something, it causes rotation. If we have a rope attached to a wheel, then we can use our hands to twist the rope around the wheel, causing the wheel to rotate. In physics, torque is defined as the product of a force and its perpendicular distance from the axis of rotation.

image showing the torque produced in a spinner


The SI unit of torque is Newton meter (Nm).

Difference Between Torque and Force

When force is applied to a specific object it produces rotation in that object.A force is a push or pulls on an object because of interaction with another object. 
Always angular acceleration is produced due to torqueMostly linear acceleration is produced due to force
the equation of torque is τ=IFMathematically force is defined as F=ma
The unit of torque is Newton meter(Nm)The unit of force is Newton(N)
Torque is considered a pseudovectorForce is referred to as a true vector

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How is torque different from the forces?

There are two main differences between torque and force:
Torque is expressed in Newton-meters (N-m) while force is expressed in Newton (N), according to the International System of Units (SI).
Torque is considered a pseudovector while force is referred to as a true vector.

What is the relationship between force and torque?

Torque is a measure of the force that can cause an object to rotate about an axis. The amount of torque that a force can generate is determined by the magnitude of the force and the distance from the force to the axis of rotation.

Can a force make different torques?

The amount of torque that a rigid body experience is determined by three factors: the applied force, the distance between the point where the torque is being measured and the point where the force is being applied, and the angle between the force and lever arm vectors.