1J11.15 - Incline and Tipping Block

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Incline and Tipping Block
Center of Mass
Area of Study:
Inclined Plane and 4X4 Block with Offset Center of Mass.

Set the block on the inclined plane with the center of mass toward the lower end.  Raise the inclined plane until the block tips over and observe that angle.  Turn the block over so that the center of mass is toward the upper portion, again raise the inclined plane until the block tips and observe that this angle is much smaller.

If you are trying to do this with an incline that has no angular scale on it, you may connect a plumb bob to the center of the block to calculate the tipping angle.

  • Jerome C. Licini and Zijun Yuan, "Why is an Empty Shampoo Bottle So Easy to Knock Over?", TPT, Vol. 58, #3, Mar. 2020, p. 220.
  • G. A. Benesh, J. S. Olafsen, "On the Stability of a Can of Soda", TPT, Vol. 52, # 6, Sept. 2014, p. 344.
  • Russell B. DeVore, "Center of Gravity and Stability", TPT, Vol. 16, #7, Oct. 1978, p. 506. 
  • A. M. Nunes and J. P. Silva, "Tilted Boxes on Inclined Planes", AJP, Vol. 68, #11, Nov. 2000, p. 1042.
  • Borislaw Bilash II and David Maiullo, "Tipping Point", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 152.
  • Julius Sumner Miller, Q179 & A179, Millergrams II – Some More Enchanting Questions for Enquiring Minds, p. 46 & 100.
  • Joseph Frick, "# 65 - Stable Equilibrium", Physical Technics: Or, Practical Instructions for Making Experiments in Physics and the Construction of Physical Apparatus with the Most Limited Means, p. 74.

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