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Inclined Plane The Inclined Plane
The inclined plane is the simplest of simple machines because to make it work, nothing moves. You move! Another name for an inclined plane is a ramp. It can be as simple as the driveway leading to your school or as sophisticated as the staircase in the Empire State Building. A ramp works by helping you lift things more easily up to a higher level. It can be really difficult to carry a box of stuff up a ladder. But carrying that same box up a staircase is an easier job, and carrying it up a smooth ramp is even easier.

Remember, there's always a trade-off. The way an inclined plane works is that to save effort, you must move things a greater distance. If you compare the length of a ladder to that of a staircase going to the same height, you'll find the ladder is much shorter. But it takes a lot more effort to climb a ladder than to simply walk up a flight of stairs. The ancient Egyptians figured this out over 3,000 years ago when they built their pyramids. They used long, shallow ramps to help them move the heavy stones to the top!

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