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# How does an inclined plane work?

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### Quick Answer

An inclined plane works by reducing the amount of force needed to lift an object from a lower point to a higher one. The inclined plane is normally a flat surface that extends from the lowest point up to the highest, which allows things to be moved up and down the incline easier than lifting it straight up or down.

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### Full Answer

The amount of force needed to move an object up an inclined plane is determined by the length of the plane between the two points. The longer the plane, the less force is needed to move, but it will take longer to get from point a to point b. A shorter plane will require more force, but less time from point to point.

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## Related Questions

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The mechanical advantage of an inclined plane can be calculated by dividing the inclined plane's length by its height. The mechanical advantage of an inclined plane represents how less work is needed to move an object up a ramp compared to directly lifting it from the ground.

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The ramp, wedge and screw are simple machines belonging to the inclined plane family. Inclined planes makes it easier to move an object. Lifting an object vertically requires a great amount of force. Using a ramp requires less force, but also requires the object to be moved a greater distance.

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A hydraulic lift works by using an incompressible liquid to multiply the effects of the force applied to lift something very large or heavy. A larger surface area requires a smaller amount of force to do the same amount of work.

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Hydraulic car lifts work through the Pascal Principle, which states that any external pressure is distributed to all parts of the internal liquid and multiplied. The fluid in a hydraulic car lift is put under pressure by a piston on a control device which then forces that fluid and the pressure against a larger piston, which then lifts the car. The multiplication of the force and the static fluid pressure allows that lesser amount of pressure lift a larger amount of weight than would normally be possible.

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