Education Technology

Bell Ringer: Sliding Down an Inclined Plane

Published on 07/24/2010

Activity Overview

Students explore the relationship between the coefficient of friction and the time required for an object to slide down an inclined plane.

Key Steps

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    Students study the effect of the coefficient of friction on the motion of a block down an inclined plane. They first study a simulation of a block on an inclined plane that shows the various forces acting on the block.

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    Next, students vary the coefficient of friction and observe how the frictional force on the block changes. They predict how the motion of the block will change as coefficient of friction changes.

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    Finally, students watch the animation to see how the block moves for various coefficients of friction. They calculate the minimum coefficient of friction required to keep the block from moving and compare their calculated value to the value they observed by manipulating the animation.