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Homework Help: Acceleration on an incline

  1. Apr 6, 2008 #1
    Is the acceleration of an object going down an inclined surface directly proportional to the angle of the inclined surface? (is there a linear relationship between the angle and acceleration?)

    What are the factors that affect the change of the acceleration? (is it mass and friction?)

    Is there a formula for this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2008 #2
    What you are asking is a standard example in most introductory physics texts. You should look up the derivation, it is also a great exercise in using Newton's 2nd Law in vector components form.

    The result is [tex]a = g\sin\theta[/tex]

    It is (a) independent of mass, (b) constant in time, and (c) is derived assuming that only weight and normal force act on the body.

    If a friction force, with a kinetic coefficient of friction [tex]\mu[/tex] opposes the motion then the expression becomes

    [tex]a = g(\sin\theta - \mu\cos\theta)[/tex].
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