Inventions
Physics
Geometry

# What is an inclined plane?

Top Answer

An inclined plane is a simple machine, consisting of a sloping surface, whose purpose is to reduce the force that must be "directly" applied to raise a load. Note that the force required is not reduced, but is "spread out" to allow the application of less force over a longer period.

To raise a body vertically a force must be applied that is equal to the weight of the body, i.e., the product of its mass and the acceleration of gravity. The amount of work done (i.e., energy expended) in raising the body is equal to its weight times the distance through which it is raised. By means of an inclined plane a force smaller than the weight of the body can be exerted over a distance greater than the direct vertical distance, doing work equal to the product of the force and the distance through which it acts. If friction is ignored, the work done using the inclined plane will be exactly equal to the work done in lifting the body directly. In any real system some work is done to overcome friction between the plane and the load.

The actual mechanical advantage of an inclined plane is the ratio of the load lifted to the force applied; ideally it is equal to the ratio of the length of the sloping plane to its vertical rise. An inclined plane whose sloping length is 5 m and whose vertical rise is 1 m has a mechanical advantage of 5; a 300-newton load can be moved up such a plane by a 60-newton force.

The inclined plane has been modified in many ways. The screw is an application of the principle of the inclined plane, but does not require that the load be moved vertically for its successful operation. Switchbacks on mountain roads are inclined planes that reduce the effort an automobile engine must exert, though it increases the distance a car must travel to ascend the mountain.
a ramp that makes the force of pulling up somthing way easier?

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