Forces on a Ramp or Incline

Upper left picture:

A rectangular object rests or moves on a ramp or incline. The type of frictional force depends on whether the object is moving (kinetic) or stationary (static). Frictional forces are parallel to the surface of the ramp and opposite the direction of movement. The normal or support force acts perpendicular to the surface of the ramp. The force of gravity acts downwards.

In order to solve this problem, the force of gravity must be divided into components parallel and perpendicular to the surface of the ramp.

Upper right and lower left pictures:

Using complementary angles, similar triangles, and trigonometry, the components of the force of gravity can be determined.

Lower right picture:

The forces acting on the object are illustrated.
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