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Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
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Short Answer

An elevator, hanging from a single cable, moves downward and is slowing. Friction and air resistance are negligible. Is the tension in the cable greater than, less than, or equal to the gravitational force on the elevator? Explain. Include a free-body diagram as part of your explanation.

The tension in the cable is greater than the gravitational force on the elevator.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Free body Diagram.

An elevator weighs having a single cable of tension is shown in free body diagram. The net force acting upwards are also indicated in the free body diagram.

Step 2: Explanation about cable tension

The elevator travels downwards because the elevator is slowing down its acceleration is in the opposite direction from its motion. Therefore, the net force on the elevator is upward and the tension is greater than the weight .

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