What’s an inclined plane? Jar lids, spiral staircases, light bulbs, and key rings. These are all examples of inclined planes that wind around themselves.  Some inclined planes are used to lower and raise things (like a jack or ramp), but they can also used to hold objects together (like jar lids or light bulb threads).

Here’s a quick experiment you can do to show yourself how something straight, like a ramp, is really the same as a spiral staircase.

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12 Responses to “Inclined Plane”

  1. myjewels9 says:

    This is a super cool experiment!
    i could use this for a straw for my milk. LOL
    So I have a theory. so mabey the people who make the screws
    take a piece of meteal and warm it, then it melts, they twist it then shape it!

  2. Aurora Lipper says:

    That’s okay if it is confusing at first. Don’t hesitate to do the experiment again so you have extra practice!

  3. dsstanford says:

    it was really fun but i got confused a bunch of times.

  4. Aurora is a name that means “sunrise”. It also is the scientific name for the effect when charged particles hit the poles of a planet (not just Earth), they cause a visible glow. You can see it here from space.

  5. Tammie Earnest says:

    I know this really doesn’t have to do with the Chapter, but I was reading a book and it talked about the Aurora Boreilus or whatever (AKA) Northern Lights. That’s your name, is that just a thing or something else?


    Unable to get “Download Student Worksheet and Exercises” link to work on this lesson.

    Shirlee (for Bonham, age 4 1/2)

  7. Elisabeth Noelke says:

    Please add a ruler to the list of what you need, so that the list is complete. Thank you.

  8. The overall shape of the pyramid is four inclined planes that meet at the top, right? 🙂

  9. Rachel Schaus says:

    how can a pyramid stone be an incline plane?
    thanks I love your site!! 🙂


  10. The short answer is yes, but you probably shouldn’t cancel your gym membership just because you live somewhere with cold weather. Our body needs energy to do anything. We get this energy from the food we eat. We need energy to breathe, circulate blood, digest food, etc. So when you go out in the cold, you don’t lose calories so much because energy in the form of heat leaves your body, but instead because you need energy to do things like shiver and maintain body temperature. The extra energy needed is not much, and will vary based on several factors. If you’re wearing a lot of clothing or have more fat in your body, you’re going to burn fewer calories because your body does not need to be heated as much.

  11. Caroline Wood says:

    I wasn’t sure where to post this question about energy. Since energy is heat, do we lose calories when we go outside on very cold days? Thanks