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Homework Help: Force equillibrium problem

  1. Sep 21, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Harry the painter swings year after year from his bosun’s chair. His weight is 575 N and the rope, unknown to him, has a breaking point of 300 N. Why doesn’t the rope break when he is supported as shown at the left below? One day Harry is painting near a flagpole, and, for a change, he ties the free end of the rope to the flagpole instead of to his chair as shown at the right. What happens to Harry and why? (2 pts.)

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    To be honest I'm entirely lost. It is more of a conceptual question and I believe the answer may have to do with the forces cancelling eachother out. I also believe the rope will snap when on the flag pole (or the pole might) because of the uneven forces.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2012 #2
    We need the pictures.
  4. Sep 22, 2012 #3
    I am sorry, I thought it uploaded, one moment.
  5. Sep 22, 2012 #4
    Here, it is attached.

    Attached Files:

  6. Sep 22, 2012 #5
    In the first diaram, there are 2 forces(cables) pulling the man.
    In the second diagram, only one force pulling the man.
  7. Sep 25, 2012 #6
    That still doesn't help much.
  8. Sep 26, 2012 #7
    If 2 identical cables are twisted together then the strength(breaking point) must be double than that of a single cable.
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