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Body at incline

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A free body diagram of a mass on an inclined plane

1. In first case we have the box with weight, say, 10 Newtons on incline. We calculate two components (perpendicular and parallel)of weight. We calculate normal force and force of friction. The box is at rest.

2. In second case we have ball on incline, made of same material as box from first case. Weight of the ball is the same as in first case, components of weight are the same as in first case. Normal force and friction have the same amount as in the case of box. But,unlike the box, ball is moving – it slides down. How’s that possible? If calculated net force is zero?

 Petar asked


It is not true that the ball slides,  but it will roll down.

In the first case, the forces balance each other and there is no motion.

In the second force, the frictional force acting tangentially backwards (up the incline) and the component of weight of the ball acting parallel to the plane and through the centre of the ball constitute a couple and tends to rotate it. Now there is no sliding; it rolls.

(If any further clarification is required please post as comment to this post)

Please refer to http://www.real-world-physics-problems.com/rolling-without-slipping.html for detailed treatment of the Physics of rolling without friction.

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