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LEVERS

~ Archimedes
Introducing The Lever
A lever includes a stiff structure (the lever) that
rotates around a fixed point called the fulcrum.


fulcrum
Lever A bar that is free to move about a
fixed point
Parts of a lever
Fulcrum The fixed point of a lever
Effort Arm The part of the lever that the effort
force is applied to (measured from the fulcrum to
the point at which the force is applied)
Resistance Arm The part of the lever that applies
the resistance force (measured from the fulcrum to
the center of the resistance force)

Anatomy of the lever
Fulcrum point around which the lever
rotates
Input Force Force exerted ON the lever
Output Force Force exerted BY the lever

Levers and the human body
Your body contains
muscles attached to
bones in ways that
act as levers.
Here the biceps
muscle attached in
front of the elbow
opposes the
muscles in the
forearm.
Can you think of other muscle
levers in your body?
Eureka - Levers
Three Classes of Levers
First Class - fulcrum
between Input and output
Second Class output
between fulcrum and input
Third Class input
between fulcrum and
output
First Class Levers See-Saw Levers
1
st
Class Lever - The fulcrum is located between the
effort arm and the resistance arm.
First class levers can multiply force and distance.

Examples: scissors, see-saw, hammers claws, pliers, etc

2
nd
Class Levers Wheelbarrow Levers
2
nd
Class Lever - resistance is located
between the effort arm and the fulcrum.
These levers multiply the force but the
direction stays the same.
Example: wheelbarrow, stapler, bottle
opener, finger nail clippers, nut cracker

3
rd
Class Lever - The effort force is located
between the fulcrum and the resistance.
The effort arm is always shorter than the
resistance arm so it cannot multiply the
force and the MA is always less than 1.
Examples: rake, hockey stick, broom, shovel,
fishing pole, tweezers, tongs
3
rd
Class Levers - Tweezers
Mechanical Advantage
What do simple machines do for
us anyway?
There are four ways that a machine
helps us to do work.
Transfers our effort force from one
place to another.
Ex: seesaw
Multiplies your effort force.
Ex: crowbar
Magnifies speed and distance.
Ex: baseball bat
Changes the direction of the force.
Ex: pulley on the flagpole
Mechanical Advantage
The number of times a machine multiplies
your effort force.
Example: If you push on the handle of a car
jack with a force of 30 lbs and the jack lifts a
3000 lb car, what is the jacks mechanical
advantage?
The jack multiplies your effort force by 100
times.
There are 2 types of mechanical advantage.
IMA Ideal mechanical
advantage.
This is the number of
times a machine is
designed to multiply your
effort force.
It is based on
measurements of the
machine.
Ignores friction
AMA Actual mechanical
advantage
This is the number of
times the machine
actually multiplies your
effort force.
AMA = resistance
force/effort force.
Includes the effects of
friction

IMA is always greater than AMA.
By using the length of the effort arm and
the resistance arm you can find the ideal
mechanical advantage.

Ideal Mechanical Advantage (IMA) What the
mechanical advantage of a machine would be
if there were no energy lost due to friction

IMA = length of effort arm = le
. length of resist arm lr


DESIGN PROCEDURE FOR
HAND AND FOOT LEVER