Tension

Tension is the force transmitted by a rope, a string, a cable, a wire, a chain, etc … when one pulls from its ends. The tension is directed along the rope and acts on both sides. Its magnitude depends on the physical situation in which it operates, and it is determined using Newton’s second law.

Tension is an effective way to transmit a force over a certain distance (the length of the rope or cable). These can be extensible or inextensible, have a large or negligible mass. In simple problems, it is assumed that the strings have no mass and are not extensible.

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The following figure shows a physical system with a rope, as well as the forces acting on it.

You will find on these pages many problems describing how to calculate the tension of a string.

Here you can find Newton’s laws problems.

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