# If the two ends of a rope in equilibrium are pulled with forces of equal magnitude and opposite directions, why isn’t the total tension in the rope 0?

"If the two ends of a rope in equilibrium are pulled with forces of equal magnitude and opposite directions, why isn’t the total tension in the rope zero?"

Can someone explain why the TOTAL tension is zero? Because I do get that the tension force is present and is therefore not zero, but I don't get why the TOTAL tension is zero.

• Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 15:53
• Force is a vector quantity having both magnitude and direction. Since the forces are equal and opposite, they add up to 0. On the other hand, the applicable force in terms of the load on the rope, the forces effectively add as if they were in the same direction, and double stress gives you double the strain. Tensions can be strong enough to break the rope without accelerating it before hand. Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:13
• The net force on the rope is what is zero. Not the tension in the rope.
– nasu
Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 16:58
• The question seems to be more about semantics than about physics, and a rephrased version of it might consequently be directed to the Linguistics SE. Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 17:42
• Does this answer your question? What is the direction of Tension Force in a rope pulled at its two ends with equal forces? Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 17:46