PIRA 1K20.40 Friction: Inclined Plane

Photos Show the Demonstration Used by the University of Texas at Austin.

Faculty Instructions:
• Set-up the incline plane at a height to provide enough space for the hanging and vertical movement of the weights.
• Note the angle of inclination.
• The roller will be at its lowest point. Gradually add weight till the roller begins to move upward.
• Note the total weight added at this point.
• Repeat the previous step for different angles of inclination and tabulate observations.

Concepts Conveyed:
• There are several types of blocks, including styrofoam, wood, and metal, which faculty can use to test different friction coefficients.
• The inclined plane reduces the effect of the force of gravity on the object because the force component required to move the object up the incline is now at an angle compared to gravity.
• Taking friction into account, the force required to move an object up an inclined is less than the weight of the object.
• The steeper the incline, the force required to lift the object becomes closer to the weight.
• Mathematically, F = W sin(theta) where F is the force needed to move a block up an inclined plane without friction, W is the weight of the object, and theta is the angle the inclined plane makes with the horizontal.

Demo Staff:
• Include a box of masses with the demo.