The inclined plane is a slanted surface used to raise objects.
An inclined plane is a slanted surface used to raise objects, e.g. a ramp.
Did you know?
The advantage of using an inclined plane has been known and used for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used inclined planes made of earth to ease the transport of their giant stone blocks to the top of the pyramids.
Using an inclined plane to raise an object to a given height, the object must be moved a longer distance, but with less effort needed than if the object was to be raise straight up.
It is a trade-off either to use a lot of effort to raise a given load a short distance straight upwards or to apply much less force to raise it gradually over the longer distance of an inclined plane.
That means the same amount of work is done.
Common examples of inclined planes are ramps, ladders, and stairs.
Build the following models. Use the Contemplate ideas below and on the Student Worksheet to learn about each model, one at a time.
Build D1 book I, pages 2 to 3
Build D2 book II, page 13 to 15
This model shows a short inclined plane with a mechanical advantage of approximately 3. Nothing happens when the load is let go. The approximately 3N effort isn’t enough to raise the approximately 6N load to the top of the inclined plane. This model thereby shows the difference between ideal and actual mechanical advantage. Under ideal circumstances an effort of more than 2N should be able to raise the load to the top, but the actual mechanical advantage is less due to friction. If another wheel is added as effort, it is able to raise the load.
This model shows a long inclined plane with a mechanical advantage of 4.5. Because of the added distance to this inclined plane, and hence the reduced angle of the ramp, the effort is able to raise the load to the top of the inclined plane.
Try other lessons!
Now that you have mastered the principles of inclined plane try some of the other lever lessons like Power Car.
Students will learn about:
Using inclined plane to raise objects
Raising objects means moving an objects a longer distance but with less effort
Mechanical advantage of inclined plane