# Incline Planes: question about distance?

1. May 13, 2013

### jmosque

Does the distance traveled by an object sliding down an incline plane pertain to the base or the hypotenuse of the triangle? My guess is the hypotenuse, but I want to make sure in order to settle this matter once and for all.

2. May 13, 2013

### WannabeNewton

The distance traveled is along the hypotenuse yes.

3. May 13, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

When something slides down an inclined plane, the distance traveled is usually measured along the surface of the incline, which can be thought of as the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

What exact question did you have in mind?

4. May 13, 2013

### jmosque

That was my question, for the purpose of making a schematic of an incline pane. I was going to label the base as "x" but then I questioned whether that was correct. In retrospect, it was somewhat of a dumb question because I don't really think this small matter would have affected any of the math in my problem.

Thank you both for your help! :)