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Incline Planes: question about distance?

  1. May 13, 2013 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    The distance traveled is along the hypotenuse yes.
  4. May 13, 2013 #3

    Doc Al

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    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?
  5. May 13, 2013 #4
    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! :)
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