1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Tension force

  1. Apr 11, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two elephants are pulling on opposite ends of a rope each with 10N of force. What is the tension force experienced by the rope?

    2. Relevant equations
    Not sure if there are any


    3. The attempt at a solution
    I originally thought to just add the the two together because they are pulling in opposite directions, so that would be 20N. But after taking up this question in class my teacher said the answer is supposed to be 10N and didn't explain too clearly. Can someone please explain exactly why that is?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2009 #2

    tiny-tim

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF!

    Hi oxnume ! Welcome to PF! :smile:
    Because that's the way tension is defined …

    if a mass of 10N is hanging from a rope tied to the ceiling, then the force exerted by the rope on the mass is (obviously) 10N …

    so, by Newton's third law, the mass is also exerting 10N on the rope …

    and since the rope isn't moving, Newton's second law tells us that the forces on the two ends of the rope must add to zero …

    so the ceiling is also exerting 10N on the rope

    (and the rope is exerting 10N on the ceiling). :smile:

    Tension of 10N means that every tiny little bit of the rope has 10N force on either side of it, holding it in place. :wink:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Tension force
  1. Tension and forces (Replies: 1)

  2. Tension Force (Replies: 1)

  3. Tension Forces (Replies: 2)

  4. Tension and Force (Replies: 3)

Loading...