Age range: 16+
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Maths

Inclined planes

Friction and resolving forces

In this practical activity a block rests on a wooden plane and is attached to a string that passes over a pulley and connects to a hanging mass. Can you use your knowledge of mechanics to find a value of the coefficient of friction between the block and the plane? Then try using this to predict the hanging mass required so that the block is just on the point of sliding up the plane. Do the calculations and then check your predictions.

This practical is designed to be easily set up and carried out in a maths classroom using simple equipment. It will help students to understand the mechanics topics of resolving forces and friction in A level Mathematics.

The video features the equipment needed and the practical procedure. The teacher notes contain additional guidance on carrying out the activity, sample calculations and suggested points for discussion, as well as an indication of some relevant real-life applications.

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Teacher notes

Inclined planes activity description and teachers' notes.

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