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2 definitions found
 for Torsion balance
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Torsion \Tor"sion\, n. [F., fr. LL. torsio, fr. L. torquere,
     tortum, to twist. See Torture.]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
     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
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  torsion balance
      n 1: measuring instrument designed to measure small forces by
           the torsion they exert on a thin wire

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