This interactive model displays a frictionless object sliding down an incline plane. The object can be a box, a sphere, or a car. When the object reaches the bottom of the incline, it can be set to bounce (elastic collision) or stick (inelastic collision). The incline angle and the object's initial position can be changed by dragging. Click on "plot" to view P/T and V/T graphs as the object slides. Click on "table" to see data on position and velocity displayed.
Editor's Note: This simulation is especially suitable for beginning learners, as it is confined to frictionless motion. See Related Materials for a somewhat more advanced version of the inclined plane model.
The Sliding Down an Inclined Plane model was developed using the Easy Java Simulations (Ejs) modeling tool. Double clicking the ejs_mech_newton_SlidingOnInclinedPlane.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.
Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.5 of
Sliding Down an Inclined Plane Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an EJS-XML representation of the Sliding Down an Inclined Plane model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to… more... download 15kb .zip
Published: June 7, 2011
9-12: 4E/H1. Although the various forms of energy appear very different, each can be measured in a way that makes it possible to keep track of how much of one form is converted into another. Whenever the amount of energy in one place diminishes, the amount in other places or forms increases by the same amount.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
6-8: 11B/M5. The usefulness of a model depends on how closely its behavior matches key aspects of what is being modeled. The only way to determine the usefulness of a model is to compare its behavior to the behavior of the real-world object, event, or process being modeled.
9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.
Christian, W. (2011). Sliding Down an Inclined Plane Model (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11236&DocID=2279
%0 Computer Program %A Christian, Wolfgang %D June 7, 2011 %T Sliding Down an Inclined Plane Model %7 1.0 %8 June 7, 2011 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11236&DocID=2279
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