- #1

fog37

- 1,568

- 108

I have been reading that tension, which is identified as a force in introductory physics books, is not really a force. For example, at a certain point ##P## along a rope under tension, the tension can point both left and right.

I understand that there are the stress and strain tensors. Is tension just a component of the stress tensor? If we multiply the stress tensor by an infinitesimal area vector, what we get out is vectors. These vectors are normal or shear forces. Is the force normal to the area vectors are the tension force?

I am confused. What is the right way to look at tension in slightly more detail than just assuming it is a vector force? The same ideas, I guess, transfer to pressure, which is not a vector but a scalar hence it must be a component of the stress tensor as well but pointing in the direction opposite to tension...

Thanks!