How Tight is Tight?

People like Jeremy Clarkson often talk about torque. Unfortunately they either just quote a number or skirt right past it like it is this incredibly difficult concept to understand. The truth is that torque is very simple to understand. Time for another dumb simile… (hard to believe that that is really how you spell simile but I cant think of anything better so lets go with it)

Suppose you go down to the playground with your pet elephant and want to play on the see-saw together (happens all the time I know). Well, as long as you go to the elephant-specific playground you can stick “Trumpy” on one end of the see-saw which immediately puts the other end right up at the top. So you climb up on your side and nothing happens. Sure you can get Trumpy to kick off from the ground to get things going, but he will just drop down again super fast and bruise his bum while you get hefted into the air again. No fun for Trumpy. Being a rainy day there are no other people in the park for you to get on your end, so you shout to Trumpy to move up towards the pivot more. As Trumpy moves nearer the middle of the see-saw things improve, until finally you reach a point of balance. Now you can see-saw gently up and down to your hearts content before heading home for tea and buns…

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