Forces on Slopes

This site is intended for exploring friction on slopes, particularly when presenting in front of a group with a projected screen or interactive whiteboard, or in a remote teaching situation by sharing the screen.

Home Page

This page shows a block sitting on a plane.   Initially the plane is horizontal.  Both the angle of the plane and the coefficient of static friction between the block and the plane can be varied using the sliders.

Vectors showing the weight of the block, the components of the weight that are parallel and perpendicular to the slope, and the friction force can be toggled on/off with the respective buttons.

By default, the block will start sliding down the slope as soon as the parallel component of its weight exceeds the maximum static friction force.  The "Free to Move/Fixed in Place" button can be toggled to prevent/allow this as desired.  This allows for closer examination of the vectors in a situation where the moving block might otherwise interfere.

The "Reset" button returns the slope angle to zero.  Other controls/states are not changed.

The block will stop when it reaches the bottom of the slope.  When this happens, use the "Reset" button to start over.

Resizing the browser window will reset everything to its original state.