It's the 87th annual alumni pancake breakfast at Ida-Ore University and Finnagle J. Wurme is on the schedule for kitchen duty. Through a series of events not entirely his fault, however, Wurme sleeps in and arrives just 15 minutes before a record 300 guests are to be served. Wurme knows he'll never be able to make enough pancakes in time to feed the hungry crowd, and in a flash of brilliance decides to combine all the batter in one giant cake. Now he must find a way to carry the 200-lb monster into the dining hall.
Wurme recruits two IOU football players from the practice field, instructing them to hold up opposite ends of a wooden pole. From the center he ties three equal lengths of rope, attaching them around the circumference of a makeshift plate. Everything is working out to plan until one of the support ropes snaps, allowing the plate to tip and the pancake to slide towards the floor. Assuming a static situation and that the two intact ropes carry the same weight, what is the tension in each?
For hints, solutions, and the winners of previous problems, visit www.motionsystemdesign.com.
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