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Which Thread Breaks First?


A bucket of mass 2 kg is hanging from a thread. Another bucket of mass 1 kg is connected to the first bucket with a thread. If we continue to increase the mass of lower bucket then which thread break? What happens if the lower bucket is given a downward jerk?



A sudden jerk on the thread from below increases the tension in the thread locally. The stress produced by the jerk exceeds the breaking limit and the thread breaks from below. The book and the thread above the bucket are not affected because the time duration of the jerk is so small that before the disturbance produced due to it reaches the upper end of thread, the lower thread breaks.

When the pull is gradual there is enough time for the disturbance to travel the entire length of the thread. Due to the weight of the bucket the thread above the bucket now experiences a greater tension as compared to the thread below the bucket. Hence the thread breaks from its upper end.

Similarly when we hold a branch of mango tree and give it a jerk we manage to increase the tension locally to the twig with which mangoes are attached to the main branch. This enable us to enjoy the mangoes!


  1. Law of lever

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JEE Physics Solved Problems in Mechanics