# Is pulling a string instantaneous at both ends? Why is it or isn't it? [duplicate]

This is a question that has bothered me for quite some time but I don't have a clue where to start in researching it.

Let's say we have a string which is arbitrarily long, light enough to not take much effort to pull but rigid enough that it would not break or stretch. If I now stand at one end of the string and pull on it, does the other end move instantaneously? If so, could we use such a method to send a message faster than light? I'm not referring to the speed of the rope itself, but to the time between pulling one end and the other end moving accordingly.

My knowledge of FTL messaging/travel (basically gen-ed physics and the movie Interstellar) tells me the answer is no, and there's a whole lot more going on at the atomic level, but I don't know exactly what forces are at play.

• One-word answer: No. Sep 29, 2021 at 6:31
• Does this answer your question? Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole? Sep 29, 2021 at 6:50
• In puling a rope we deal with a mechanical waving not electromagnetics waves. The mechanical waving is far slower that EM waves, e.g. sound waves in water move with velocity around 1 500 m/s while EM waves have speed of light which is 300 000 km/s. Sep 30, 2021 at 16:26

First of all, you can't even imagine the force required to pull a string of length equal to or more than $$3×10^8\ \text{m}$$. Now, imagine you have the force to pull it, but it is nearly impossible to make a string of that rigidity. It can't withstand that enormous force.
Note: When you take a small string and pull it, it seems like the force reaches the other end instantaneously, this happens because it is small and thus force reach the other end very fast, but for long rope, particularly this big ($$3×10^8 \ \text{m}$$), it is not instantaneous.