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## Homework Statement

Hi, I just had a quick conceptual question.

I understand that if I have an object moving down a ramp, it is being accelerated only by gravity. My question is this:

We should be able to experimentally calculate g if we measure the acceleration down the ramp. Then we can use trigonometry to determine a value for g. However, this only works if you take the

acceleration down the ramp divided by the sin (theta) . I understand where this comes from (redrawing the angle theta in the middle where the object starts from), but why can we not calculate the component of gravity by saying:

sin (theta) = g / a

This makes more sense to me looking at the initial angle, because g appears to be the opposite side and the acceleration down the ramp appears to be the hypotenuse.

Can someone please help clarify?