Tension and acceleration comprehension

In summary, the tension on a rope does not increase when a man climbs it with just his hands, as long as he is not accelerating. This is because the force exerted by his muscles is counteracted by the tension in the rope, according to Newton's third law.
  • #1
seanhead42
2
0
If a man hanging on to a rope with just his hands tries to climb the rope, does the tension on the rope increase? Why?

I think no, but my argument isn't very rigorous.

If the man is stationary and holding on to the rope with just his hands, the weight of his body is pulling down on his arms which is pulling down on the string which is pulling on the ceiling. The tension on the rope and his arms is equal to his weight.

When he climbs up the rope, at some point he must bend his arms to pull his body upward. This is when the accelaration occurs. He pulls his body up, so there must be a positive force from the muscles in his arms acting on his body. I make a very large intuitive leap here and say that since his body is accelerating, there need not be any increase in the tension of the rope. If I am right, why am I right?
 
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  • #2
You are wrong. Remember Newton's third law. There are two forces here: the man pulling down on the rope, and the rope pulling up on the man. The former is the force in his muscles, and the latter is the tension in the string.

If the man exerts a 10N force downwards on the string, the string will exert a 10N force upwards on the man, accelerating him. This 10N force is added to the tension in the string.
 
  • #3
Thankyou for your help
 

Related to Tension and acceleration comprehension

1. What is tension and acceleration?

Tension and acceleration are two concepts in physics that are related to each other. Tension is a force that is transmitted through a string, rope, or any other object that is stretched. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity of an object over time.

2. How are tension and acceleration connected?

Tension and acceleration are connected through Newton's second law of motion, which states that the net force on an object is equal to its mass times its acceleration. In other words, the tension in an object will affect its acceleration.

3. What is the formula for calculating tension?

The formula for calculating tension is T = mg + ma, where T is the tension, m is the mass of the object, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and a is the acceleration of the object.

4. How does tension affect the motion of an object?

Tension can affect the motion of an object in different ways. If the tension is greater than the weight of the object, it will accelerate in the direction of the tension. If the tension is equal to the weight of the object, the object will remain at a constant velocity. If the tension is less than the weight of the object, it will decelerate in the opposite direction of the tension.

5. What are some real-life examples of tension and acceleration?

Some real-life examples of tension and acceleration include a pendulum swinging back and forth, a car accelerating or decelerating on a road, and a person using a pulley system to lift an object. These examples demonstrate how tension and acceleration are present in everyday situations.

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