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Simple Tension Problem

  1. Oct 4, 2006 #1
    The strong man can withstand the tension force exerted by the two horses pulling in opposite directions. How would the tenstion compare if only one horse pulled and the left of the rope were tied to a tree? How would the tension compare if the tow horses pulled in the same direction, with the left rope tied to tree.

    T= tree
    HH= 2 horses (duh)
    ----- indicates rope
    ---> indicates that the horse is pulling this way
    <--- indicates that the horse is pulling this way




    The distances of rope are suposed to be the same i just didnt draw them the same, sorry.

    Am I correct in saying that the man can withstand the two horses pulling in opposite directions becase they are both on the same object, him, and that they are equal so they cancel?

    Also is it correct to say that the tension between the man and the tree while having 2 horses pull on it is twice that of one horse pulling on the man anchored by rope to the same tree?


    Thanks for looking,
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If two horses are pulling in the same direction, they would pull with twice the force of one horse, assuming each horse exerts the same force.

    What if the man or horse in not moving, what can one say about the tension in the rope when tied to the tree or to another horse pulling in the direction of the tree?

    Two horses pulling in opposite direction provide no net force, and therefore no acceleration. Although the forces cancel, there is tension in the line because there are opposing forces at each end.
  4. Oct 4, 2006 #3
    A trick here is to cut the rope. What force is left if the rope is static?

  5. Oct 4, 2006 #4
    weight? since there is no force of friction because its not moving. Static refers to an object not moving correct?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2006
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