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Homework Help: A Mechanics tries to remove an engine from a car by attaching a chain

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A Mechanics tries to remove an engine from a car by attaching a chain to it from a point directly overhead and then pulling sideways with a horizontal force F. If the engine has mass 180kg, what is the tension in the chain when it makes an angle of 15 degrees with vertical? What is Force

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    The problem I have with the solution is that I thought because the person is pulling on the chain outward the tension would be in the opposite direction meaning toward the engine. They show T as being in the same direction the person is pulling on the chain. I feel like I have misunderstood what tension means and I would like it if someone could help me understand it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    Re: Tension

    As used in this problem, the word Tension refers to the force in the chain which is everywhere the same. The word Force refers to the lateral force applied to push the chain sideways, the force F.

    Draw a FBD of the point where F is applied to the chain (the block shown in the figure) and do force sums horizontally and vertically). This should give you everything that you need.
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