Inclined plane or a ramp is one of the basic machines. It reduces
the force necessary to move a load a certain distanc'e up by providing a path
for the load to move at a low angle to the ground. This lessens the needed force
but increases the distance involved, so that the amount of work stays the same.
are ramps, sloping roads, chisels, hatchets, plows, air hammers, carpenter's
planes and wedges. The most canonical example of an inclined plane is a sloped
surface; for example a roadway to bridge a height difference. The inclined plane
is used to reduce the force
necessary to overcome the force of gravity when elevating or lowering a heavy
object. The ramp makes it easier to move a physical body vertically by extending
the distance traveled horizontally (run) to achieve the desired elevation change
engineering the slope or ratio of rise/run is often referred to as a grade or
gradient. Others may also call it tilt.
are used as an alternative for a stairway for wheelchairs, buggies and shopping
carts. Ramps may zigzag. There are also moving ramps.
changing the angle of the ramp one can usefully vary the force necessary to raise
or lower a load. For example:
wagon trail on a steep hill will often traverse back and forth to reduce the gradient
experienced by a team pulling a heavily loaded wagon. This same techique is used
today in modern freeways which travel through steep mountain passes. Some steep
passes have separate truck routes that reduce the grade by winding along a separate
path to rejoin the main route after a particularly steep section is past while
smaller automobiles take the straighter steeper route with a resulting savings
important in the history of science, engineering and technology for a variety
ramp or inclined plane was useful in building early stone edifices, in roads and
aqueducts, and military assault of fortified positions.
with inclined planes helped early physicists such as Galileo Galilei quantify
the behavior of nature with respect to gravity, mass, acceleration, etc.
understanding of inclined planes and their use helped lead to the understanding
of how vector quantities such as forces can be usefully decomposed and manipulated
mathematically. This concept of superposition and decomposition is critical in
many modern fields of science, engineering, and technology.
simple machines based on the inclined plane include the blade, in which two inclined
planes placed back to back allow the two parts of the cut object to move apart
using less force than would be needed to pull them apart in opposite directions.
ADVANTAGE OF THE INCLINED PLANE
an object is put on an inclined plane it will move if the force of friction is
smaller than the combined force of gravity and normal force. If the angle of the
inclined plane is 90 degrees (rectangle) the object will free fall.
The term inclined plane
is also used for a funicular.