Objects on an incline tend to slide downwards and even children know of this phenomenon. However, the science behind it is not familiar to all and is one of the many topics that students find difficult to understand in their first attempt. Most of them even look for online physics tutors to help them understand it better. Read on to learn everything there is to know about what sort of forces act on an object in an inclined plane.
Why do objects move downwards when on an inclined plane?
They slide downwards simply because there is no balance and when the gravitational pull is higher than that of the other net forces acting on it, it tends to accelerate downwards. To understand further, we need to look at the forces acting on the object on an inclined plane. There are two forces that act on an object on an inclined plane (assuming that there is no friction and there are no other external factors affecting the motion of the object) and they are:
- The weight of the object/ gravitational force
- The normal force
The normal force usually acts in a perpendicular fashion and is directed perpendicular to the surface. These forces in turn have their perpendicular and horizontal components. The normal force is actually balanced by the force of gravity that has a component in the opposite direction to the normal force. Thus, the only other force that drives the object into motion is the horizontal component of the gravitational force which is along the surface of the incline and this causes acceleration. Thus, the component of the gravitational force that runs parallel to the surface of the incline is responsible for the object’s acceleration in the absence of other forces.
Most students get confused with the components of the force and thus seek physics homework help online to get better clarity on the subject. This in turn results in better performance and thus better grades.