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Force components of two strings tied to a painting at 45 degree angles

  1. Dec 11, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Find the equation of the horizontal components of two strings tied to a painting at 45 degree angles with the horizontal.


    2. Relevant equations

    Fnet = 0


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Since the painting is in equilibrium, I found that, in the horizontal direction, Fnet = 0 = S1x - S2x, where S1x S2x are the horizontal components of the force by the strings. What I don't understand is why S1x = S2x. This naturally follows as a result, but aren't these two quantities equal and opposite, since they have the same magnitude but are in opposing directions? Shouldn't it be S1x = -S2x?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2014 #2

    haruspex

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    The set up is not at all clear. Is the painting at 45 degrees or the strings? Where are the strings attached to the painting? Etc.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2014 #3

    PhanthomJay

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    you assumed that one comp acts left and the other right. The fact that s1= s2 means means you assumed the correct directions, provided, however, that each comp pulls away from the picture, not toward it. Plus and minus signs get very tricky.
     
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