When a force is applied such that its line of action passes through the center of mass of a body, no torque is generated, and only the body’s linear acceleration is affected. If it is applied off-center, it will induce both a linear and a rotational acceleration. A pure torque can be applied to a body as well by applying two equal and opposite forces to points equidistant from the center of mass. The linear motions induced by such a pair of forces will cancel each other out (since for the purposes of linear dynamics, the forces both act at the center of mass). This leaves only their rotational effects. A pair of torque-inducing forces like this is known as a couple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Couple_(mechanics). A ...

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