Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Deceleration on an incline

  1. Apr 20, 2004 #1
    Hey all, I have a question. How can I calculate the deceleration of an object that begins to go up an incline of angle X? See there are a lot of problems like this. One of mine for example involves an object entering an incline of 25 degrees at 0.25 m/s, and I need to calculate how far it goes up the incline.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2004 #2

    Draw a diagram of the incline and the object. What direction would a force have to be in order to decelerate the object? Draw vectors for the forces acting on the object. Which one(s) of these could contribute to decelerating the object?
  4. Apr 21, 2004 #3
    I have...I get gravity coming from the top, force normal going perpendicular to the hypotenuse side...and that's all (there is no friction in this problem).
  5. Apr 21, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If there is no friction, the force normal to the hypotenuse is irrelevant. The force is the component of force ALONG the hypotenuse. That would be -mg sin(theta) where theta is the angle the slope makes with the horizontal.
  6. Apr 21, 2004 #5
    I think I got this one wrong...instead of force equations, I used energy equations...

    If the speed is .25 m/s when it enters the incline, then I set potential energy equal to kinetic energy...

    or about 3.2 millimeters, which would be the vertical component of the incline, so...
    [tex]l=\frac{.5*.25^2}{9.8*sin25}[/tex] or about 7.55 millimeters.

    I did use that method, at one point...if you do that, and use a mass of 1 kg for simplicity, you get d=.5(9.8*sin25)(.25/(9.8*sin25))^2 or the same answer.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2004
  7. Apr 21, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    The equation for the length up the incline is correct (I didn't check the numbers, but I assume they're ok too.). The only thing I would suggest is that you not use a single variable for more than one thing. You use h to mean height off of the ground in your first equation and then you use h to mean length along the incline in your last equation. I was able to follow what you did, but you're liable to confuse yourself and others if you do things like that. You've got 26 letters, capital and lower case, all the greek alphabet, and all the subscripts you want to make up new variable names; it's worth it to do so.
  8. Apr 21, 2004 #7
    Whoops, that was a mistake with the last h. I usually do use pretty decent/legitbble notation.
  9. Apr 21, 2004 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    OK. Didn't mean to get on a soapbox there; mistakes happen.
  10. Apr 22, 2004 #9
    It's all good:). Thanks James.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook