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# Mechanics help- Forces as Vectors watch

1. Ok, so far I've managed this unit but I am stuck at a question in which I don't understand the language used, what does:
-line of action of this force; (is in the same)
-vertical plane; (as)
-the line of greatest slope of the inclined plane
mean?

An answer would be much appreciated as I want to get this hwk. done and we haven't come across any of this language in class doing examples let alone in physics. (I understand line of action is where the force acts and an equal and opposite force will lie along the same line, but that is about it.

All the forces in the system are in an equilibrium, if that if helpful, and I ask because I have to sketch the system in order to solve it.
2. The line of action is the line which goes through the point at which the force is applied, and is in the direction of the force. For example, say you have a bead attached to a rod and you're holding a string which is attached to the bead. If you pull the string at an angle of 45° to the rod then the bead will still move along the rod, but the line of action of the force will be line which is at 45° to the rod (and through the bead).

A vertical plane is exactly what it says on the tin really. It usually refers to converting a 3D problem into 2D (i.e. a plane). In a vertical plane, you usually (in A-level problems) have gravity acting downwards. For example, if you throw a ball, then you're interested in the motion (a) in the direction you throw it, and (b) in the vertical direction [how high or low it is]. You can ignore the third direction, and what you're left with is a vetical plane.

The line of greatest slope of an inclined plane is just a fancy way of saying the line that "points directly uphill". You can think of an inclined plane like a skate ramp, or like a road which is on an angle. If you stand looking directly up, that's when the slope is greatest; if you then rotate a bit so that you're looking up it at an angle, the slope in that particular direction is less.
3. @nuodai
Thanks for the help- I've managed the question, it was relatively simple once I got my head round the wording. Your analogy helped immensely in looking at the question!

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