Physics

Understanding the five most Important Simple Machines

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The world is awash with machines, but most of these have evolved from, or still use the basic principles of 5 simple machines. These are: -

1) Pulleys - Pulleys allow you to move loads or objects that would prove difficult. The pulley can operate in any direction, ie: upwards, downwards and sideways. A system of two or three pulleys or more will also help to spread the weight load, making it easier to move the desired object.

2) Wedges - A wedge is a simple machine that is used to split an object into two. For example a knife and fork would be a wedge as they are used to cut and separate food. Another example of wedge would be a chisel in its use to split wood.

3) Levers - A lever is simply a bar or board that rest on a pivotal point, for example the central point of a child's see-saw. It's purpose to allow for easier weight movement by distributing the weight over a leverage point. Thus the amount of effort required to move the weight is reduced.

4) Wheel or axle - The wheel as a machine, serves the purpose of moving something of weight. For example a trolley in a supermarket allows one to transport the products from the shelves to the checkout, or a trailer can be pulled by a person to move something from the front of the garden down to the rear where the individual could not possibly lift the item that far. Similarly, wheels are used in transportation for the same purpose.

5) Inclined Planes - An inclined plane is a simple sloping machine with one end higher than the other. Common examples are the type of ramps that can be found at many stores to enable wheelchair access. Without these ramps, wheeled machines would not be able to conquer the different heights.

As a non-practical man I prefer the simple things in life, and these machines provide that for me.

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