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LEVERS
V. Ryan 2002 - 2023
 
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Levers are used to lift heavy weights with the least amount of effort. In the example opposite, the heavy weight on the left hand side is been lifted by the person because of the lever. The longer the 'rod' the easier it is to lift the weight. Under normal circumstances the person would not be able to lift the weight at all. The fulcrum is the place where the rod pivots (or rotates).
 
 

The load is the scientific name for the weight. The effort is quite simply the amount of effort used to push down on the rod in order to move the weight.

 
 

 

We use levers in every day life. Bicycle brakes work due to the fact that they are based on a lever. The diagram below shows the fulcrum and the effort.

Another good example of a lever is a simple door handle or a wheel barrow.

 
PRACTICAL APPLICATION - A BRAKE LEVER
 
 

 

 
Draw three examples of levers that are used in everyday life.

There are three classes of lever and each class has fulcrum, load and effort which together can move a heavy weight.
 
 
 
THREE CLASSES OF LEVER
 
CLASS ONE LEVER
 
The person uses a trolley to move heavy packaging cases. The fulcrum is the wheel.
 
 
 
CLASS TWO LEVER
 
The gardener uses a wheel barrow to lift tools and garden waste. The load is in the centre of the barrow
 
 
 
 
 
CLASS THREE LEVER
 
The person fishing catches the ‘fish’ which becomes the load at the end of the lever.
 
 
 
Draw your own examples of the three classes of lever. Think in terms of examples that you have used at home, work or school.
 
 
 

 

How did the Egyptians use levers to build the pyramids ?

 

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