When determining the measure of the angle in the work equation, it is important to recognize that the angle has a precise definition - it is the angle between the force and the displacement vector. Be sure to avoid mindlessly using any 'ole angle in the equation. A common physics lab involves applying a force to displace a cart up a ramp to the top of a chair or box. A force is applied to a cart to displace it up the incline at constant speed.

Several incline angles are typically used; yet, the force is always applied parallel to the incline. The displacement of the cart is also parallel to the incline. Since F and d are in the same direction, the angle theta in the work equation is 0 degrees. Nevertheless, most students experienced the strong temptation to measure the angle of incline and use it in the equation. Don't forget: the angle in the equation is not just any 'ole angle. It is defined as the angle between the force and the displacement vector.