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Calculating How Far an Object Will Slide Down an Inclined Surface

You can use physics to calculate how far an object will slide down an inclined surface, such as a ramp. For example, say you and your friends are pushing a refrigerator up a ramp onto a moving van, when [more…]

How Gravity Affects the Acceleration of an Object on an Inclined Plane

You can use physics to determine how gravity affects the acceleration of an object as it moves along an inclined plane. When you’re on or near the surface of the Earth, the pull of gravity is constant. [more…]

Finding the Force of Gravity along an Inclined Plane

You can use physics to determine the force of gravity on an object that moves along an inclined plane. You can break the weight of the object down into components that are parallel to and perpendicular [more…]

Finding the Velocity of an Object Moving along an Inclined Plane

In physics, you can calculate the velocity of an object as it moves along an inclined plane as long as you know the object’s initial velocity, displacement, and acceleration. Just plug this information [more…]

Calculating the Force Needed to Move an Object Up a Slope

In physics, when frictional forces are acting on a sloped surface such as a ramp, the angle of the ramp tilts the normal force at an angle. When you work out the frictional forces, you need to take this [more…]

Breaking Ramps Up into Vectors

The first step in working with ramps of any kind is to resolve the forces that you're dealing with, and that means using vectors. For example, take a look at the cart in the figure; it's on an inclined [more…]

Running Down Ramps: Speed

When objects slide (frictionlessly) down a ramp, they’re acted on by a force, which means that they’re accelerated and therefore their speed changes. The equation to use in physics problems like these [more…]

Starting from Zero: Static Friction

Two coefficients of friction correspond to two different physical processes. The first, called the coefficient of static friction, applies when you start pushing something at rest to get it moving. When [more…]

Static Friction along Ramps

The figure shows a box on a ramp. Suppose that the box contains a new flat-screen TV that you’re pushing up the ramp and into your house. [more…]

Acceleration and Inclined Planes

When you have a block of ice (read: frictionless) moving down a ramp, it’s being acted on by forces, which means that it’s accelerated. How fast is it being accelerated? When you know that [more…]

Friction on Inclined Planes

In the real world, when things slide down ramps, friction is involved, and the force of friction opposes the motion down the ramp. The force of friction is proportional to the force from the ramp that [more…]

Already in Motion: Kinetic Friction

Kinetic friction is usually less than the force of friction you need to overcome static friction. Kinetic friction occurs when an object is already in motion. [more…]

Kinetic Friction along Ramps

Two kinds of friction — static and kinetic — mean that you have to handle ramp problems where kinetic friction is involved as well as problems where static friction is involved. Kinetic friction is involved [more…]

Acceleration along Ramps Including Friction

Suppose that you have a crate that has been mistakenly placed near the top of a long ramp, and it starts sliding down that ramp. How about calculating its acceleration down the incline? [more…]

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