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Ball rolling off ramp - what happens?

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    http://puu.sh/2fjvF [Broken]
    If a ball rolls off a ramp like in the diagram, what happens in terms of vertical and horizontal components? Neglecting all friction etc, I understand the horizontal component would not change, but what happens when it comes off the ramp? Does the horizontal component increase? If not, where does the kinetic energy from the vertical component go, since it only has a horizontal component now...

    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2013 #2


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    The horizontal component does change. If you look at the free body diagram for the object (neglecting fricton) you see that there are two forces acting: gravity and the normal force. These combine to give a resultant (net) force parallel to the ramp, which means that the acceleration has both vertical and horizontal components.

    Without having to consider all of those details, you can easily get the final kinetic energy and hence speed, using conservation of energy.
  4. Mar 10, 2013 #3
    Thanks a lot cepheid! I didn't even think of the inclined plane force diagram, silly me :p

    All the best.
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