Why the total tension is not zero?

• Aruna Kiran
In summary, when two ends of a rope are pulled with equal and opposite forces, the net force on the rope is zero. However, the tension in the rope is still present and can be seen as the property of a stretched rope that allows it to exert a force at each end. This tension can be present in any part of the rope, including the entire rope itself, as long as the forces are balanced and symmetrical.
Aruna Kiran
If two ends of a rope in equilibrium are pulled with forces equal in magnitude and opposite direction,why the total tension in the rod is not zero?

The Attempt at a Solution

Don't confuse the net force on a section of rope with the tension in the rope.

What rod? I thought you were pulling on a rope.

Aruna Kiran said:
If you pull each end of piece of rope with a force of 50 N (for example) you will create 50 N of tension in the rope. Think of the tension as the property of a stretched rope that allows it to exert a force at each end.

While the tension is 50 N, since you're pulling each end with equal and opposite force the net force on the rope is zero.

The two forces are acting on different points. Imagine you cut the rope into three bits and knot it back together so that you have one rope again made from three bits A,B,C

If you exert a force on part A (and C) then part A will exert an equal force on part B. Then according to Newton, part B will impart an equal and opposite force on part A. Because of symetry the same is happening at the other end. So part B is under tension. Part B can be any size, upto and including the entire rope.

1 person
Oh. I got it now. Thank you all.

1. Why is there tension in a system?

Tension is a force that is created when there is a pull or stretch on an object. In a system, tension can arise due to various factors such as differences in forces acting on the system, friction, or external forces acting on the system.

2. What causes the total tension to not be zero?

The total tension in a system is not zero when there are multiple forces acting on the system in different directions. This can result in a net force, which leads to tension in the system.

3. Can tension ever be completely eliminated?

In theory, tension can be eliminated by ensuring that all forces acting on a system are balanced. This means that the forces are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction, resulting in a net force of zero and therefore eliminating tension.

4. How does tension affect the stability of a system?

Tension can have both positive and negative effects on the stability of a system. In some cases, tension can help to keep a system in equilibrium by balancing out other forces. However, excessive tension can also cause a system to become unstable and potentially lead to failure.

5. Is tension always a bad thing?

Tension is not inherently good or bad. It is simply a force that can have different effects depending on the circumstances. In some cases, tension can be necessary for certain structures or systems to function properly. However, too much tension can also have negative consequences, so it is important to carefully consider and manage tension in any given system.

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