The perpendicular distance is the shortest distance between a point (axis of rotation) and a line (the extension of a line segment). For a force, the extended, imaginary line, is known as the line of action of the force.
The concept of a perpendicular distance seems quite difficult for some students to grasp. Students need to have knowledge that a force has a magnitude and direction, and that in addition it has a point of application and a line of action. The Perpendicular Distance Calculator Biomechanics Tool displays a force with randomly generated (constrained) magnitude and direction, that acts on a segment of fixed length but randomly generated direction, at a point of application along the segment length.
The Perpendicular Distance Calculator Biomechanics Tool was developed to operate in two ways:
Geoff and James Strauss February 2011.