An elevator suspended by a vertical cable is moving downward but slowing down. Should the tension in the cable be greater than the weight of the elevator.

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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There are two forces acting on the elevator. One of them is the weight of the elevator. The weight of the elevator is equal to the force with which it is being attracted to the Earth due to the gravitational force of attraction. If the mass of the elevator is m, this force is given by F_d = 9.8*m.

The other force acting on the elevator is the tension in the cable. This force acts in the upwards direction. Each of the forces has an associated acceleration; as the elevator is moving downwards but slowing down, there is a net upwards acceleration acting on it. This indicates that the upward force, which is the tension in the cable is greater than the downward force or the weight of the elevator.

For the elevator to slow down while moving downwards, the tension in the cable should be greater than the weight of the elevator.

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