Conceptual Question: Block on a wedge on a frictionless surface

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Homework Statement


This is more of a conceptual question, but say a block was set on top of an inclined plane, which was set on top of a frictionless level surface. Would the inclined plane move? Why or why not

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The Attempt at a Solution


My thought process was that since the the surface is level, it would mean that the inclined plane would not move. However, I don't know how gravity would play into this situation.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
.Scott
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Let's say that the block had mass and the inclined plane had none - or very little.
The block is applying a force to the inclined plane that is normal to its surface. So the block is not pushing straight down on the block - it is pushing down and to the side.

So you tell me what will happen to that inclined plane.
 
  • #3
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You didn’t say the plane was frictionless, so you will need to consider two different cases. Either the component along the incline of the weight of the block exceeds static friction or it doesn’t.
 

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