Forces Acting on a Ladder

A man of weight (blue arrow) climbs a ladder of length and weight placed against a wall at an angle . Vary the height of the ladder to see the forces acting on this system.
The weight of the ladder is taken to be at its geometrical center (red arrow), the ground exerts a reaction force (brown arrow) on the ladder, and a frictional horizontal force (yellow arrow) stops the ladder from slipping along the ground. Additionally, there is a force at the top of the ladder normal to the wall (orange arrow, between the arms of the man).


  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


Since the ladder is in static equilibrium, the condition for equilibrium on the forces is , and for torques is
The minimum coefficient of friction required is
    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students.
Computerbasedmath.org »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2018 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+