mechanical advantage

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Wheel and axle – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:52:53+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Central Asia, Physics|

An Egyptian potter uses a pottery wheel, about 2000 BC Wheels do not exist in nature, and no animals use them except people. Even people didn't use wheels until the early Bronze Age, around 3500 BC, much later than the other simple machines (the lever and the inclined plane). The earliest evidence for people using wheels comes from Sumeria (modern [...]

Wedge – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:45:17+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

This stone hand-ax from Chennai, India is a kind of wedge. Like screws, wedges are really a kind of inclined plane, but they are so useful that people give them their own category. A wedge is two inclined planes back to back against each other. Wedges evolved on their own long before people. Sharp teeth are a [...]

Screw – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-10-14T16:35:54+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics, What|

A cider press with big wooden screws People always count screws as a separate kind of simple machine. But really screws are just one kind of inclined plane. They are such an important kind that we give them their own category. Like most other simple machines, screws also exist in nature. The hip joints of [...]

Movable pulley – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:05:45+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Bike hoist pulleys A movable pulley is a way to use a pulley to make it easier to move heavy things - to get a mechanical advantage. In the picture, someone is trying to pull their bike up to the ceiling so it will be out of the way. They've used two fixed pulleys, attached to [...]

Pulley – Simple machines – Physics

By | 2017-08-17T10:02:22+00:00 August 17th, 2017|Physics|

Clothesline pulley A pulley is really a kind of wheel, just as a screw is a kind of inclined plane. But pulleys are so important that people give them their own category. A pulley is a wheel with two raised edges. The raised edges are so that a rope or a string will run along the wheel [...]