Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 5 - Think and Explain: 70

Answer

When the supporting rope is vertical, S is zero. The tension and the weight are both vertical, and cancel each other. If the rope were horizontal, S would point such that its vertical component is equal and opposite to mg. Its horizontal component would be equal and opposite to the rope tension T. If the rope tension T and the force S were both horizontal, there would no way for the sum of the three forces to equal zero. The weight, mg, points downward and either force S or T must also have a vertical component to cancel that vertical component.
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