An inclined plane is a flat surface that is tilted or inclined at some particular angle other than the right angle. This means that one end of the surface is lifted higher than the other end. The slope of the inclined plane allows a person to move bulky objects or load up to a certain height with ease. This is because an inclined plane increases the distance over which the force is to be applied, thereby decreasing the effort. In other words, with the help of an inclined plane, the load can be displaced from one position to the other by directly applying a push or a pull force rather than lifting it.
Examples of Inclined Planes
1. Garbage Dumping
The trucks that are used to dump garbage consist of a mechanism that tilts the container attached to the back of the truck. When the container is tilted, it forms an inclined plane. The garbage then gets dumped on the ground due to the action of gravity. Hence, inclined planes are applicable in garbage trucks.
Have you ever wondered how the pyramids were made? How the people who constructed the great pyramid were able to manually lift the construction blocks 481 feet above the ground? The answer to the question is that they did not lift it. Instead, they made use of inclined planes to drag the construction blocks up to the site. Hence, the construction of pyramids prominently displays the use of inclined planes.
3. Stairs and Ramps
In most of the homes, hospitals, and other places an inclined plane is attached next to the staircase. This plane provides a surface for people to walk upon and drag heavy objects over it with ease. The inclined plane or the ramp also helps physically challenged people to move up and down using a wheelchair.
4. Moving Vans
Moving vans consist of an inclined plane attached to its back. Loading the heavy boxes or objects in the van by manually lifting them up is a difficult task; however, in such a case, an inclined plane serves the purpose by making the loading and unloading of objects almost effortless.
A playing slide is yet another example of inclined planes used in our daily life. One end of the slide is placed close to the ground, whereas the other end is lifted and attached to the top of a staircase. The difference in the heights of edges of the plane makes it a ramp or an inclined plane. The child sitting on the top of the slide quickly reaches the ground with the help of the gravitational force.
6. Stunt Ramps
Ramps or inclined planes play an important role in performing stunts on a bicycle, motorcycle, or skateboard. The slightly raised surface provides the rider with the necessary vertical velocity required to perform the stunts.
The chutes used for dropping mails into a mailbox are an example of inclined planed used in daily life. The slanting shape of the channel connected to a letterbox opening helps the mail to slide in the downward direction with ease, thereby avoiding the mailbox getting jammed or clogged.
A funnel is an amalgamation of two geometric shapes namely, a cone and a cylinder. The curved part of the cone serves as an inclined plane to the fluid or the liquid poured into it. The slope of the inclined plane helps the fluid slide down the cylinder easily.
The difference between the height of the top of a hill and the bottom of the same hill can be easily observed with the naked eye and it increases gradually while moving in the upward direction. Hence, hills are one of the best examples of an inclined plane in everyday life.
The roofs of buildings, mostly in hilly areas, are generally built in a slanting shape. This is because when a slope is added to the roof of a building, it helps the snow, rain, or dust slide down the ground easily. Hence, these kinds of roofs are a classic example of inclined planes.