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Conservation of Energy and the angle of the incline

  1. Feb 15, 2015 #1
    If I had a block that I pushed with a force F along a horizontal path and then removed the force before an incline, would the angle of the incline matter on how far above the ground the block would travel? I am assuming a frictionless surface.
     
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  3. Feb 16, 2015 #2

    NascentOxygen

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    Staff: Mentor

    No.

    Now what equations can you use to support this contention?
     
  4. Feb 16, 2015 #3
    well since there is a certain kinetic energy in that block i am assuming if it would be converted completely to potential energy the path to get to that place wouldnt matter. The potential energy is only dependent on the hight. So I think the type of incline wouldnt matter in regards to the HIGHT it would reach.
     
  5. Feb 16, 2015 #4

    NascentOxygen

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    That sounds right.

    Because the surfaces are frictionless, there is no need to maintain a force on the block once it has reached the desired speed. (You said the block was being pushed with a steady force F. This means it will be constantly speeding up.)
     
  6. Feb 16, 2015 #5

    jbriggs444

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    There is one complication that can cause the angle to matter. If the transition from the horizontal to the incline is abrupt, some kinetic energy will be lost at the junction. If you require the object to remain in contact with the surface (a no-bounces requirement), this will be an inelastic collision. In the limit of a sharp 90 degree angle (e.g. between floor and wall), the object comes to an abrupt stop and does not climb the wall at all.

    If the transition is curved rather than sharp then this effect does not intrude.
     
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