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I am confused with the concept of tension in a rope. Look a the diagram. Two forces are acting in a body, in this case the body is a rope, hence the total force in the rope should be zero, right? So, what is the tension?

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    $\begingroup$ Tension is the stretching of the rope at molecular level, like a spring of some sought. Thus when one of the person above will let go of the rope, the rope will snap back, relasing this stretching. Also total force on the rope would be zero not in it. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 18:26
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    $\begingroup$ @GedankenExperimentalist Are there, in each section of the rope, two forces of 100N in opposite directions? or the force in each section is small, and all added gives 100N in the ends of the rope? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ I encourage you to think about it, specially think what will happen at molecular level when the forces are unbalanced. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicates: physics.stackexchange.com/q/41291/2451 , physics.stackexchange.com/q/158938/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ If the rope is not accelerating away to the right or the left, then that means that the net force on the rope is zero (i.e., the pull exerted by Student 1 equals the pull exerted by Student 2.) But tension and net force are not the same thing. Tension is internal to the rope. It's the force between every molecule and its neighbors within the rope. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 22:47

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