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General question about accleration of box on inclined plane

  1. Oct 21, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Is it possible for a box going down on a frictionless incline plane to have not a negative accleration but positive accleration? Please help, it is confusing.


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2008 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Acceleration is a vector quantity. So the sign of the vector depends on how you choose your coordinate system. If an object is free-falling at the surface of the Earth, then the acceleration due to gravity "g" is positive if the Z axis points down, and negative if it points up. As long as you keep your coordinate system consistent, you could choose either way.
     
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