1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Cable Thickness

  1. Apr 16, 2009 #1
    Hi all, I am doing a paper on the space elevator. On the wikipedia site it states that a climber would be far better off on a stationary cable rather than having a cable pulling the climber since "the cable to be significantly wider at the center than the tips". Why does the center have to be thicker then at the tips??


  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    What are the forces on the cable at the bottom/middle and top?
    Hint - do you need to attach the top to anything?
  4. Apr 16, 2009 #3
    Well at the bottom of the cable, there is the platform and on top is the station. So there are forces pulling from those two points. Therefore the cable must be thicker in the middle to withstand the forces??
  5. Apr 16, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There are no forces at the ends
  6. Apr 16, 2009 #5
    Well there must be some sort of stress on the cable...
  7. Apr 16, 2009 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes. At the centre. The rest of the cable is hanging down in both directions from the centre.

    Ignore one half of the cable for the moment and think of just one cable hanging down from a very tall ceiling. What part of that cable experiences the biggest load?
  8. Apr 16, 2009 #7
    Thanks for both of your help!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook