This really isn't a specific problem in my studies but a general one: My physics book defines tension as applying equal magnitude forces, but opposite in direction to the ends of a body. It is clear that this would cause the object to be in equilibrium. It also goes on to say tension is a scalar quantity equal to the magnitude of the forces applied. If this is the case, why does the book ask for the tension in objects that have forces applied to the ends of an object that are not equal in magnitude, and thus cause the object to accelerate? They also show tension as a vector quantity...a lot. Is it just bad use of words on the book's part?