What is Tension force: Definition and 127 Discussions

In physics, tension is described as the pulling force transmitted axially by the means of a string, a cable, chain, or similar object, or by each end of a rod, truss member, or similar three-dimensional object; tension might also be described as the action-reaction pair of forces acting at each end of said elements. Tension could be the opposite of compression.
At the atomic level, when atoms or molecules are pulled apart from each other and gain potential energy with a restoring force still existing, the restoring force might create what is also called tension. Each end of a string or rod under such tension could pull on the object it is attached to, in order to restore the string/rod to its relaxed length.
In physics, tension, as a transmitted force, as an action-reaction pair of forces, or as a restoring force, may be a force and has the units of force measured in newtons (or sometimes pounds-force). The ends of a string or other object transmitting tension will exert forces on the objects to which the string or rod is connected, in the direction of the string at the point of attachment. These forces due to tension are also called "passive forces". There are two basic possibilities for systems of objects held by strings: either acceleration is zero and the system is therefore in equilibrium, or there is acceleration, and therefore a net force is present in the system.

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  1. I

    Why did I get two different results for the mass m2?

    I wonder why did I get two different answers for m2 using two different approaches? The correct answer is m1=3kg, m2=7kg. So pleases if someone can take a look. Also can someone suggest how am I supposed to find the force that dynamometer is showing? I was thinking that it equals (m1+m2)*g...
  2. Lotto

    What minimum speed do we need to give a charged ball?

    First, if we sign the speed in the highest point of the ball's trajectory to be ##v_2##, we can write ##m\frac {{v_2}^2 }{l}=T_2+mg-\frac{1}{4\pi \epsilon}\frac{Q^2}{l^2}##. Now, depending on the ball's particular mass, the electrostatic force can be bigger of smaller than its gravity force...
  3. Lotto

    What force is needed to break a rope?

    I would say that it will not break in both cases, since tension force is 10 N, no matter if I pull it against a tree or a person. But I am not sure. How is it?
  4. Spocktastic

    Trying to Figure out Tension force angle on Arm

    I already solved for part a, setting the sum of the Torques of the arms and deltoid equal to 0 and subbing in values which lead to a tension force of 870N in the deltoid. For part b, I remembered the law of static equilibrium, so the summation x and y components of all the forces in the system...
  5. babaliaris

    I Pendulum Tension Force -- How to calculate the full vector?

    Hello! I'm trying to understand how this pendulum works. I found this video that explains how to calculate the T force from the rope. He uses the preservation of kinetic and potential energy in order to find the magnitude of the velocity and then using Newton's second law, he calculates the T...
  6. paulsterx

    Question on hoop stress tension in rotating objects

    Hi, I have a question about hoop stress or tangential force acting within a spinning object such as a solid flywheel. As described in a textbook I’ve seen, the hoop stress tension force acting as if across the diameter of the object, trying to pull it apart, is a resultant of forces acting...
  7. vibha_ganji

    Halliday, Resnick & Krane Chapter 5: Force on Pulley

    As the force on a pulley is equal to twice the tension, I just have to find the tension to solve part A. To do so, I first wrote the equations for both m1 and m2. m1 * a = T - m1g m2 * a = T + N - m2g The tension must have the same values for both equations so I added both equations to find...
  8. H

    Engineering Tension force in two strings supporting a sign

    First i calculated the sign Force which was 4*9.81 = 39.24N which meant that the force already exceeds the traction force. What i don t understand in the question is how the distance h will avoid this?
  9. K

    Tension force of a thread in a complex structure of six masless rods

    At first I tried solving the problemteh following way: Due to symmetry let the rods connected to the green rod have tension forces in magnitde T1 => mg = 2T1cos(a), where a is half the angle formed by the two rods. From tere I got an expression from the longer rods in the force projected by them...
  10. K

    Is non-linear Tension Force possible?

    I seem to remember from my school days that Tension Force can only be linear. Is this true? In 1 (in the graphic) the tension will follow the line of the rope In 2 there is an unbendable, unbreakable, steel cable formed into an arch. a ] In 3 which direction will the Tension be? b ] In 3 if...
  11. K

    I Horizontal Tension Force equation

    (not a homework question - I left education over 45 years ago) Hi, this just out of interest as I have been googleing this and can't find the answer I know the equation for tension force, for example a weight on a string, block on a ramp, etc. But is there something similar for a horizontal...
  12. jamiebean

    Understanding Tension Force: A Beginner's Guide to Physics

    I am new to physics I have no idea how the forces work and how to calculate the tension with f=ma thank you very much..
  13. E

    How can I calculate the tension force?

    This is my attemp of solution: Since the formula to calculate the tension is T=mg I first calcualted the weight of the bridge with the ecuation W= mg m=W/g m= 18,000 N / 9.81 m/s m= 1834 kg So T=(1834)(9.81)= 17,991 N But this seems no logical to me because the Tension force is a bit less...
  14. C

    Tension force in a spring

    Good afternoon, I have some doubts about the tension force suffered by a spring to which a mass is hung and which is making a simple vertical armoin movement. My doubt lies in the fact that at the bottom of the pier (where the mass hangs), the spring exerts the restoring force that is given by...
  15. F

    Correct understanding of the tension force

    Hello, I am reviewing the concept of tension, a force that expresses the internal tensional state in a body (rope, chain, string, solid body). My understanding is that the force of tension "derives" from the stress tensor and relates (it is the product) the diagonal tensor components to an...
  16. N

    Vertical circle in a pendulum ride -- tension force acting on the gondola

    At the bottom of the circle, the tension force is greater than the weight force as there must be a net force acting towards the centre to provide the centripetal force causing the centripetal acceleration and thus the circular motion. In the equation above (T = mv^2/r + mg) I only have the mass...
  17. solarmidnightrose

    What is knowing the Tension Force good for?

    So, I'm working on calculating the tension force in vertical circles-and I understand how to calculate the tension force at different points in the vertical circle (via vector sums). But what I don't really understand is how to interpret this information. What can I further do with these...
  18. Susie

    Tension Force Problem: Solving for T1 with x and y components using trigonometry

    I know I have to find the x and y components of T1 using 400cos(55) and 400sin(55) and I know that the x-component of T1 will = the x-component of T2 but opposite sign to give 0. But idk how to get there and what do to for the y-component. I think I found the weight, I think it’s 32.42g but I’m...
  19. Np14

    What is the tension force for this system in rotational equilibrium?

    The system is in rotational equilibrium and therefore experiences no net torque, meaning all individual torques must add to zero. τNET = 0 = FFTsin(θ)L - FgL - Fg(L/2) τNET = 0 = FTsin30°(0.6?) - (0.5)(9.8)(0.6) - (2.0)(0.6/2) My only problem (I think) is figuring out what the length L is for...
  20. C

    Tension force and acceleration Problem

    Homework Statement A block on an inclined surface is connected to another block that is hanging over the top edge of the incline, (as shown in the attached diagram). The system is moving in such a way that block B (mass = 3.0kg) is moving downwards, as block A slides up the ramp. The...
  21. J

    Finding Tension force in a SHM Pendulum

    Homework Statement A 110 kg panda is riding on a 3.0 m long swing whose mass can be considered negligible. The highest point of its arc occurs when the swing makes a 20° angle with the vertical. What the magnitude of the total tension in the ropes of the swing at that point? m (mass of panda)...
  22. isukatphysics69

    Box lifted off the ground by a tension force at a 32 degree angle

    1. Homework Statement The magnitude of the force F is slowly increased. The direction of the force remains the same. What is the magnitude of the force F at the moment the block looses contact with the floor? Homework Equations fnet=m*a[/B]The Attempt at a Solution fnety =...
  23. Blueberrymuffim

    The tension in the cord in this system

    Homework Statement A force F is applied horizontally to a block A of mass mA = 0.600 kg so that it slides on the floor with acceleration g/3. Block B of mass mB = 0.200 kg rests on top of A, but is kept in place by a cord which is tied to the wall at 45.0°. The coefficient of kinetic friction...
  24. A

    Find the tension force in each pair

    Homework Statement You are presented with a circumstance in which three children are playing on a frozen pond. The three small children of mass 20.00 kg, 24.00 kg, and 16.00 kg, respectively, hold hands, and are pulled across a smooth frozen pond by a larger boy on skates, who pulls a...
  25. Wes Turner

    Tension force of block and rope

    Homework Statement Block B hangs from Block A by a Rope 1. Rope 2 hangs below Block B. Each block has a mass of 1.0 kg. Each rope has a mass of 250 g. The entire assembly is accelerating upward at 3.00 m/s^2 by force F. A. What is F? B. What is the tension at the top of Rope 1? C. What is the...
  26. Pushoam

    Average tension force acting on a simple pendulum

    Homework Statement Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution Trying to answer it before solving it, The maximum tension force is mg, so the average has to be less than this. Hence, the option (a) and (c) are not correct. ## T = mg \cos \theta ##, where ## \theta ## is the angle between...
  27. J

    What is the largest pulling force before the string breaks?

    Homework Statement A person pulls three crates over a smooth horizontal floor at an angle of 34 degrees to the horizontal. The crates are connected to each other by identical horizontal strings A and B, each of which can support a maximum tension of 38.0 N before breaking. What is the...
  28. T

    Understanding Tension on a Pulley

    Homework Statement Problem image: https://prnt.sc/gvhjso In this case I have to find the reaction forces at the point E (the Fx, Fy, and the Moment at point E) by using the given data. The 20kN forces at the load AC are concentrated, and are 1.8m far from each other. The tension of the cable is...
  29. E

    Basic torque/static equilibrium problem

    Homework Statement Homework Equations sum of forces = 0N sum of torque = 0Nm The Attempt at a Solution Net force has to be already zero (T = mg). But, the torque isn't zero, otherwise this question would have another answer choice. But the gravitational torque should cancel with the tension...
  30. M

    Why is the tension force equal to friction force

    Homework Statement The 1.0 kg block in the figure is tied to the wall with a rope. It sits on top of the 2.0 kg block. The lower block is pulled to the right with a tension force of 20 N. The coefficient of kinetic friction at both the lower and upper surfaces of the 2.0 kg block is μk = 0.300...
  31. Shardul Khare

    What is Tension on each part of the rope?

    I know that when we strech the rope...all the points on that rope are under tension. But I do not understand how Newtons 3rd law of motion is applied when we work with tension.Any hep would be apreciated
  32. N

    Tension Force between two rotating masses on strings

    Homework Statement Two balls with masses m1=0.3 kg and m2=0.7 kg are connected by massless strings with lengths L1=0.2 m and L2=0.26 m, as shown. The arrangement of strings and masses rotates at constant angular frequency ω=57.6 radians/s around a fixed pivot point. Find the two tensions...
  33. defaultusername

    Strings and Atwood Machines

    Homework Statement When talking about an Atwood machine, a student states: Is the student correct or incorrect? Why? Homework Equations Tension = mg + ma The Attempt at a Solution This is how it is making sense in my mind, but correct me if I'm wrong. I am thinking that the student is...
  34. V

    Solving a Bubble Puzzle: Understanding Surface Tension Force

    Homework Statement Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution Pressure inside bubble = 2T/R Buoyant force on bubble = ##\frac{4}{3} \pi R^3 ρ_w g ## But I do not understand how surface tension is exerting force on the bubble .Also I do not understand the direction of surface tension force...
  35. H

    Solve Tension of String Homework Statement

    Homework Statement Hi, sorry, I am not good at writing English, but I am trying. I hope that someone helps me solve the following problem. http://hodol.kr/q.jpg [Broken] Please refer to the figure above. A stick(AB) of length 5 is leaning against the Wall(AO) and a string(CO) is tied at the...
  36. B

    Determining Direction of Tension Force: Find Answers Here

    Homework Statement How do you determine the direction of tension in a force/ the direction of tension acting on an object. I'm confused. Homework Equations - The Attempt at a Solution I have no clue. Help!
  37. J

    Find tension force on 2 boxes on a ramp

    Homework Statement You are lowering two boxes, one on top of the other, down the ramp shown in the figure (Figure 1) by pulling on a rope parallel to the surface of the ramp. Both boxes move together at a constant speed of 19.0 cm/s . The coefficient of kinetic friction between the ramp and the...
  38. M

    Tensile and compressive forces

    Example of a tightrope walker: Now, the weight force acts at a point. The rope is stretched. Compressive forces act inwards towards that point (opposite to TL and TR, the tensile forces). The resultant of the compressive forces equals the weight and is in the same direction – the weight force...
  39. S

    Tension force in Atwood machine

    I've read a couple other threads about this issue. And one even addressed my exact question but the answer didn't help me understand this at all. In an Atwood machine, why isn't the total force on a mass = its gravity minus the gravity of the mass on the other side? I keep seeing tension in...
  40. E

    How to calculate tension force for scattered bolt on plane

    Please find the attached (http://s23.postimg.org/ropds44ob/Capture.jpg). I know how to get the shear force for each bolt using bolt analysis. But I don't know how to get the tension/compression force of the bolt when it position is not symmetric. *I already download some excel from internet...
  41. Scorry

    Tension Force - accelerometer

    Homework Statement This is a solved problem. It is attached. Why is sin theta horizontal, and cosine theta vertical? Homework Equations All relevant equations are given. The Attempt at a Solution The solution is given.
  42. K

    Unsolvable tension force problem

    This was a problem on an exam that our professor later discovered was unsolvable THE WAY HE POSED THE QUESTION. First off, it's important to note that this is from a statics class, therefore Fnet = 0 will be true for all problems in our course. So here's my thoughts on this and I would like to...
  43. D

    Finding Tension of a string tied to a wall

    In the figure we see two blocks connected by a string and tied to a wall, with θ = 33°. The mass of the lower block is m = 0.9 kg; the mass of the upper block is 4.0 kg. Find the tension in the string that is tied to the wall. -I have the forces of Block A as Tension, Normal Force, and Gravity...
  44. Hamza Abbasi

    Tension in the string and tangential accleration

    Homework Statement A particle of mass m is whirled on the end of a string of length R. The motion is in vertical plane in Earth's gravitational field . The instantaneous speed is v when the string makes angle Ө with the horizontal. Find the tension T in the string and the tangential...
  45. Rinzler09

    Proof of T.a=0 rule in mechanics (Laws of motion)

    There is this T.a rule in laws of motion which can be applied to a system to solve problems regarding constraint motion. Here's an example This example is pretty simple so I've decided to show the application of the rule here. Consider the FBD of m, T is in the same direction as the...
  46. A

    Tension force and a board fixed to a flat surface

    A heavy board is fixed to another flat surface along its entire upper edge and not moving. How can I find the tension force that is acting on the board? Is it the same as if the board would be fixed to a string in the middle of the upper edge and hung and then the tension would be T=mg?
  47. A

    Solving Tension in Wires for Fixed Plate

    Homework Statement A plate is fixed to the ceiling by two wires and to the wall by a single wire. The wall wire is cut. Calculate the tension in the two remaining wires. mass = 800 kg g = 10m/s² Dimensions in sketch Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution Equations: Ra*cos30 + Rb*cos30 =...
  48. S

    Mastering physics Problem 20.58 tension and wave velocity

    Homework Statement The figure shows two masses hanging from a steel wire. The mass of the wire is 60.5 g . A wave pulse travels along the wire from point 1 to point 2 in 24.0 ms . https://session.masteringphysics.com/problemAsset/1383975/6/knight_Figure_20_80.jpg //What is mass m? Homework...
  49. A

    What will be tension on string pulled by equal forces?

    what will be tension on string pulled by equal but opposite forces?
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