# Vectors Help -- Weight hanging from a cord

• yoyo16
In summary, the conversation discusses a problem involving a 7m cord tied to a horizontal board 5m apart, with a weight of 50 N suspended from a ring that can slide along the cord. The objective is to find the tension in the cord and the horizontal force pulling the ring to a position where the cords on either side measure 4m and 3m. The method suggested is using the component method and solving for the components in the x and y directions to find the tension and the horizontal force. The concept of gravitational force is also mentioned as being necessary for solving the problem.
yoyo16

## Homework Statement

A cord 7m long has its ends tied to a horizontal board 5m apart. A weight of 50 N is suspended from a ring so that the weight is free to slide along the cord in a vertical plane. A horizontal force pulls the ring to a position such that the cords on either side of the ring measure 4m and 3m. Find the tension in the cord and the horizontal force.

## Homework Equations

The component method.

## The Attempt at a Solution

So far, I still can't figure out how to draw the diagram. If the horizontal board is 5m apart, does that mean the cord would act as a hypotenuse? And would the cord be 4m above the x-axis and 3m below the x-axis? Someone please help me, I've been stuck on this question for a day now.

It is a fairly confusing way of wording it, but from what I can tell, you basically have a board, with a 7 meter long rope being formed into a triangle. The 7 meters of cord form a point with the ring, so that 4 meters of the cord is on one side, and 3 meters of the cord on the other side. I am not sure if you picked up on it, but this gives you the three sides, making a 3-4-5 triangle.

But how would you figure out the angles? Would you assume that it was making a 45 degree angle with the horizontal axis? Actually, it is a 90 degree angle right, since a^2+b^2=c^2?

A 3-4-5 triangle is a well known triangle type, which very specific angles to it. The angle between the 3 and 4 leg is 90 degrees, for example.

I tried solving it but I got the wrong answer, can you please see what I did wrong and tell me.

fx=T1cos45-T2cos45=0
Fy=T1sin45+T2sin45-Fg=0

T1cos45=T2cos45
T2=(T1cos45)/(cos45)

Fy=T1sin45+(T1cos45/cos45)(sin45)=Fg
T1(sin45+sin45)=490
T1=350

Last edited:
A 3-4-5 triangle does not have 45 degree angles. It has the following:

Between 3 and 4: 90
Between 4 and 5: 36.87
Between 5 and 3: 53.13

Was my method correct though?

It is difficult to say. I can't tell if you are using one triangle or two, but it looks like you have split it in two, which I am not 100% sure that you need to do. Odds are that you will also need to compare the forces with a "base" with no force, although I am not sure that is needed. (The base being that the length of cord on each side is 3.5 meters) There is a height difference between the base, and what you have, and that height difference is an upward force. (when decomposed)

If it were to be one triangle, how could you find the tension of the cord? I assume that my method isn't correct since the tension for T1 and T2 are different even though it is one cord.

I don't have the time to really look into the problem, but the first thing that hit me was that the change in height between the base triangle and the 3-4-5 triangle would give you a change in potential energy, which could be calculated, and turned into the y component of the additional force. Although it is a horizontal force, after the new position is found, it will no longer be horizontal, because as the ring slides over, the distance from the board to the ring shrinks, and the horizontal force becomes diagonal. If it stayed horizontal the whole time, it would be moving upwards to compensate, and the ring would slide all the way to one side.

Draw a vertical line through the ring that intersects the 5 m board. This divides the big triangle into two smaller triangles that are geometrically similar to the big triangle. You have enough information to solve for all the sides of these two smaller triangles. This will allow you resolve the tension T in the cord into components in the x and y directions. The components to the left of the ring will be different from the components to the right of the ring. But, this will give you enough information to do a force balance on the ring and mass in the horizontal and vertical directions, and solve for the tension and the horizontal force on the ring.

chet

Is the concept of Fg used when solving for this? I'm not sure whether gravitational force is required.

yoyo16 said:
Is the concept of Fg used when solving for this? I'm not sure whether gravitational force is required.
Sure it is.

Chet

hey, i have similar question. have you solved this one? if yes could you please show your way.

hey, i have similar question. have you solved this one? if yes could you please show your way.

koko3030 said:
hey, i have similar question. have you solved this one? if yes could you please show your way.
This thread is more than 8 years old. If you have a specific problem that you wish to be helped with, please post it on a separate thread in this forum. Also, please read, understand and follow our guidelines before posting your question.

berkeman

## 1. What is a vector?

A vector is a mathematical quantity that has both magnitude (size) and direction. It is often represented graphically by an arrow, with the length of the arrow representing its magnitude and the direction of the arrow indicating its direction.

## 2. How is a vector different from a scalar?

A scalar is a mathematical quantity that only has magnitude, while a vector has both magnitude and direction. Examples of scalars include mass, temperature, and time, while examples of vectors include displacement, velocity, and force.

## 3. How do you calculate the magnitude of a vector?

The magnitude of a vector can be calculated using the Pythagorean theorem, which states that the square of the hypotenuse (longest side) of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. In other words, the magnitude of a vector is equal to the square root of the sum of the squares of its components.

## 4. What is the difference between a position vector and a displacement vector?

A position vector represents the location of an object in space relative to a fixed point, while a displacement vector represents the change in position of an object from one point to another. In other words, a displacement vector is a specific type of position vector that describes the movement of an object.

## 5. How can vectors be used to solve problems in physics?

Vectors are essential in physics because they allow us to describe the motion and interactions of objects in a precise and mathematical way. They can be used to calculate forces, velocities, and accelerations, and are crucial in understanding concepts such as motion, energy, and momentum.

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