I have a question about the restoring force in elastic band or rope which confusing me for a long time.
As I was told in high school physics, for an elastic band (or spring), if Hooke's law holds, we have $F = k\Delta x$. What's confusing me is: should F be the total force acting on the object or the restoring force only? Or I ask this way: is there anything called "restoring force" existing independently, just like gravity, friction or tension?
To my understanding, restoring force should be the total force which is pointing to the equilibrium point. For example, if we consider a bungee cord, we should always count the tension of the cord as well as the gravity so the restoring force at any time should be the total force of tension and gravity; hence, when we apply Hooke's law, we should always have $F$ being the total force, not just the tension. Is that correct?
This is pretty confusing to me because there use many terms in the book. Sometimes they said it is the tension in Hooke's law, sometimes they say the restoring force and sometimes the total force....