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Stress is the common thing that we hear everyday if some one overloads us by some thoughts or work. This idea is true even in physics. It is a force acting on a body that deforms the shape and size of the body.

Stress Image
It is due to the relative displacement of the molecules. The displaced molecules tend to regain their original position if the body has elastic nature. This restoring force per unit area is what we call as stress!

What Causes Stress?

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Stress is caused due to deforming force put on it. When a force applied on a body so much that it deforms its shape and size, there will internal opposing force acting per unit area to the body. This is what we call stress.
Stress ($\sigma$) = $\frac{Force}{Area}$
Its SI unit is Pascal or Newton per meter square (N/m2).

Types of Stress

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There are basically two types of stress acting in nature

Normal stress: It is a type of stress experienced when elastic restoring force or deforming force acts normal to the surface area. They are of two types - Tensile and compression stress. If there is an increase in the length or extension of the body due to the direction of force applied then it is the tensile stress and if there is decrease in the length of the wire or compression of the body due to the force applied, the stress set up is the compression stress.

Shearing or tangential stress: When the elastic restoring force or deforming force acts parallel to the surface area the stress is tangential stress. It is a deforming force that acts tangentially to the surface of the body that changes the shape of the body then stress set up in the body is the tangential stress.
If a tangential force F acts on a top face of cubical body A then
Tangential stress = $\frac{F}{A}$

Tensile Stress

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There are basically three types in the way stress acts - Tensile, compressive and shear. Tensile stress is that a body experiences when it is acted by a stretching or pulling force. It leads to elongation or stretching of the body.
Tensile force ($\sigma_tensile$)= $\frac{Force Applied}{Area}$
Example of tensile force: Stretching of a rubber band that elongates it
Stretching of a cable wire leads to change in its length.