Tension problems are a particular challenging subset of problem types in the Forces, Energy and Power section of the Our Dynamic Universe unit in Higher Physics. I’ve produced two videos explaining how to solve these types of questions, which are shown below.
The first one relates to three carriages on a track, and the second a more unusual (and rather funny) example of a cow dangling over a cliff! Both can be solved using two simple principles:
1. Find the unbalanced force on the whole system and then use it to determine the acceleration of the whole system.
2. Apply that acceleration to each component within the system to determine the tension providing the forward force for a component of the system.
Get all that…ok, maybe not. Hopefully the videos will make things a little more clear!