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What is Tension in Physics?-Definition, Tension in One and Three Dimension

August 23, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

Tension in Physics is described as the pulling force transmitted by the means of a string, a cable, chain, or similar object, or by each end of a rod, truss member, or similar three-dimensional object. There could be a difference between compression and tension.

What is Tension in Physics?

When a cable, rope, wire, or string is tethered by forces acting on opposite ends, tension refers to the force transmitted. The cable is directed in one direction along its length and pulls at the same objects on either end. 

At the atomic level, when atoms are pulled apart from each other and gain potential energy with a restoring force still existing, tension could be created. Each end of a string or rod under such tension could pull on an object it is attached to, in order to restore the string/rod to its relaxed length.

Newton’s Laws and Tension Force

In the final application, tension is applied to Newton’s law. Tension can be caused when cables and rope are used to transmit force. Let’s say that a rope is pulling a block. People pulling at one end of the rope are not able to exert force on the block at the other end as they are not in contact with the block. The rope exerts a force on the block which is transmitted to the block by the rope. A block is something that is experiencing tension force.

The total force on the rope should never be greater than zero. There is a second law that can be used to prove this. A net force on a rope causes zero mass because the mass of a massless rope equals the force acting upon it.

The Tension in One Dimension

The tension is a scalar quantity in one string. The tension doesn’t seem to be negative. The string is loose when the tension is not zero. Ropes and strings are massless, unlike ropes and strings, which have a dimension of length yet no cross-section. Since the tension is constant along the string, there will be no bends that are not caused by pulleys and vibrations.

The tension of three dimensions

The force that is exerted by the ends of a three-dimensional, continuous material such as a rod is referred to as tension. Tension is the same as the negative pressure in this situation. There is a rod under tension. The force per cross-sectional area is more important than the force alone in determining the amount of elongation and failure.

Stress= axial force / cross sectional

the area is more useful for engineering purposes than tension.