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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Tor·sion n.
 1. The act of turning or twisting, or the state of being twisted; the twisting or wrenching of a body by the exertion of a lateral force tending to turn one end or part of it about a longitudinal axis, while the other is held fast or turned in the opposite direction.
 2. Mech. That force with which a thread, wire, or rod of any material, returns, or tends to return, to a state of rest after it has been twisted; torsibility.
 Angle of torsion (of a curve) Geom., the indefinitely small angle between two consecutive osculating planes of a curve of double curvature.
 Moment of torsion Mech. the moment of a pair of equal and opposite couples which tend to twist a body.
 Torsion balance Physics., an instrument for estimating very minute forces, as electric or magnetic attractions and repulsions, by the torsion of a very slender wire or fiber having at its lower extremity a horizontal bar or needle, upon which the forces act.
 Torsion scale, a scale for weighing in which the fulcra of the levers or beams are strained wires or strips acting by torsion.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 torsion balance
      n : measuring instrument designed to measure small forces by the
          torsion they exert on a thin wire