PhysicsLAB CP Workbook
Incline Planes - Force Vector Components

The weight of the block is represented by vector W. We show axes parallel and perpendicular to the surface of the inclined plane. W has a component parallel to the surface (bold vector). Acceleration down the incline is due to this component. W also has a component perpendicular to the surface (bold vector). This component gives the force pressing the block against the surface, and is equal and opposite to the normal force (not shown).
 
Refer to the following information for the next two questions.

Here is the same block on a steeper incline. On a sheet of paper, draw in the components.
For a steeper incline, the component parallel to the incline is
 
For a steeper incline, the component perpendicular to the incline
 
 
On a sheet of paper, practice drawing the components of each weight vector parallel and perpendicular to the surface for the blocks shown below.
 
 
 
Refer to the following information for the next four questions.

A block slides down a friction-free ramp as shown. On a sheet of paper, construct components of the weight vector: one parallel to the surface at A, B, and C, and the other perpendicular to the surface at these locations.
 
At which location is the component parallel to the ramp surface greatest?
 
At which location is the acceleration of the block along the ramp greatest?
 
At which location is the acceleration of the block along the ramp least?
 
The speed of the block on this ramp is greatest where the acceleration is least.
 




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