I Walk the Incline, by Ian Hartman ©2007
Tune: I Walk the Line, by Johnny Cash (1956)
Click here to play mp3 recording in the background

1. I keep a close watch on my x and y.
My axes are important all the time.
Without friction I surely would decline.
I walk the line on the incline

2. It’s not easy to stay on this slope --
Sometimes I need the assistance of a rope.
But knowing my formulas gives me hope.
I walk the line on the incline
3. As sure as gravity’s value’s 9.8,
I’ll keep on walking till I reach the gates
Of physics heaven, and I won’t be late!
I’ll walk the line on the incline

4. I’ve got a physics textbook on my side --
If this slope tries to take me for a ride,
My coefficient of friction will stem the tide!
I'll walk the line on the incline.
I'll walk the line on the incline.

This song is about the physics of a block, or a person, on a slope or "inclined plane".

To download the recording by Ian Hartman, right click one of these options and choose "Save Target As...":
mp3 (1.5 MB) .. RealPlayer (0.2 MB)

(mp3 is higher audio quality, but RealPlayer file is smaller)

Lyrics: PDF .. Word

Here is a very nice applet by C. K. Ng about a block sliding on an inclined plane, including graphs of PE and KE, as well as adjustable coefficient of friction and slope. The vector showing the frictional force is a bit hard to see -- it has a smaller arrowhead than the other force vectors, and is positioned along the surface of the incline.

Order I Walk the Line, a 3-CD boxed set with 45 of Johnny Cash's hits, from Amazon.com for only $13.

How do you prove in three steps that a sheet of paper is a lazy dog?
1. A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane.
2. An inclined plane is a slope up.
3. A slow pup is a lazy dog.

From Math Jokes, collected by Andrej and Elena Cherkaev

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Background image: on the right, climbers on Mt. Shasta in California, from OutBackAdventures.com. On the left: block on an incline. Will it slide down? Will it tip over?