The Real Sydney Bristow
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Jan 26, 2004
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Ok, so the inclined plane and I do not get along, but I hope to reconcile our differences for the sake of the MCAT. ::Sigh::

Anyhoo, really, for some reason I have always had difficulty with those problems, i.e. find the force of a block sliding down an inclined plane of some angle theta. Could someone try to explain in laymans terms how you go about setting it up with the relevant vectors and cos/sin or theta, etc.

You can just PM me, or respond to the thread. Thank you so much in advance! Yay physical sciences (riiiight). ;)


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always think mgsin theta for the force down the slope...always think mgcos theta for normal force. Friction must be considered as well, in the direction of mgsin theta...or against it, depending on the problem. I thought EK did a great job with this topic...kept it simple. Anyway, from what I hear it's a basic must-know for the test, so be sure to master it! Perhaps someone else can explain it better...


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Imagine if the block was falling straight down i.e no inclined plane. The only force acting is gravity..mg. Since the block is on an incline the force pushing block down is not as much as mg...its a fraction of mg. That's where the angle comes in. The only force acting to move the block is mgX sin of angle of incline. Get it?
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