Lever: The Simplest Machine Of All
- Jan 10, 2017
- Sudipto Das
You can consider your very own body to be the best and the most amazing tool of all at your disposal. But sometimes, the human body isn’t enough to do a job. A helping hand’s needed to carry out the same. Certain tools made from wood, metal and plastic act as a form of an extension of your body, capable of making your task easier and faster. Lever is one such tool that can act as your significant helping hand. In this article, we are going to discuss about levers in detail.
Lever: an introduction
A lever is considered to be the simplest of all machines. Even the concept sounds simpler than a piece of cake. Think of it this way. It is just a long bar capable of multiplying your force as per requirement.
Take any example of a lever, say the see-saw. When you are seated on a seesaw, you have probably figured this out by yourself that you have to sit further from the fulcrum (in simpler words, the balancing point) to lift up a person heavier than you on the opposite end of the seesaw. The further you sit from the fulcrum, the more you will be able to multiply your force.
If a person sitting on the opposite end of your see-saw is substantially weightier than you, ask him/her to sit closer to the fulcrum on his/her end. You, on the other hand will have to sit as far as possible from the fulcrum. By doing so, you might be able to lift up the person at ease.
There are some technical terms associated with levers that you should know before taking this matter further.
Fulcrum- It’s the balancing point. We have already mentioned it before with reference to the seesaw.
Effort- The force that you have applied with your weight is called the effort.
Load- It’s the weight of the person that you are trying to lift up on the other end of the see-saw.
A point to be noted here is the fact that the word “effort” and “load” are often confused with one another. Just remember that the “effort” you’ll give should be much less when compared to the force you will generate through a lever.
A long lever can give you a lot more leverage. So you see leverage is directly proportional to the length of the lever.
Types of levers
They are usually of 3 types. These are:
- Class-I lever
In this case, the force is applied on the opposite end of the fulcrum to the force that’s produced by it. An example can be the see-saw mentioned above. The diagram below represents that of a class-I lever.
- Class-II lever
In this case, the fulcrum is placed only on one end. Force is exerted at one end and the generated force occurs in the middle.
Simple examples can be wheelbarrows, nutcrackers etc. The diagrammatic representation can be found below.
- Class-III levers
A class-III lever is a little bit different. It’s similar to that of a class-II lever. The fulcrum is there at one end but the forces (both applied and generated) switch around. Examples can be tweezers and tongs.
We’ll bring this article to an end. Hope you had a good red. Ciao!
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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