I'm really having difficulty understanding how to approach problems in my physics class due to 1. never having taken physics before, and 2. having a professor that I cannot understand (english is not his native language, and he speaks very soft/fast). We're now doing tension in class, and I'm having trouble with the first problem :( Given this diagram (block is at rest), what is the tension on the left string? http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/1751/untitledje1.png [Broken] The only thing I can come up with is that since acceleration is zero, then Sum of Forces (Fnet) = 0. The book says something like tension in the x direction is Tcos(theta) and tension in the y direction is Tsin(theta). What does that MEAN? Does that mean they are the x and y components? please help!!