A lever could be something as simple as a wooden board with a ridge that freely rotates or moves on a pivot. The most common and popular lever can be found in many playgrounds: a see-saw or teeter-totter. They are found everywhere and it is one of the most useful simple machines.
All levers have four basic parts:
- Beam- The lever, a wooden plank or metal bar resting on the fulcrum.
- Fulcrum- the pivot or the turning point.
- Force- the effort or input needed to move the beam and load.
- Load- the item or object being moved or lifted on the plank.
How it works: If one end of the lever is pushed down, the force will lift the other end. If the other end has a load on top of it, it will be easier to move the load. The lever makes the work easier. Think of a boy and girl on a see saw. The boy may not be able to lift the girl up in the air using just his arms. On a see saw, though, the girl (the load) is sitting on one end and then the boy can easily push down on the other end and lift the girl. This is exactly how a see saw works, two people using force to move each other up into the air.
There are actually three different classes of levers. The class of lever depends on the location of the load, force, and fulcrum. Some examples of levers include more than one class, such as a nut cracker, a stapler, nail clippers, ice tongs and tweezers.
Other levers, called single class levers include the claw end of a hammer. When pulling a nail, the nail is the Load, the Fulcrum is head of the hammer, and the Force is at the other end of the handle, which is the Beam. The Load (nail) and Fulcrum are close to each other which makes it easier to remove a nail with the hammer.
Wheelbarrows, fishing rods, shovels, brooms, arms, legs, boat oars, crow bars, and bottle openers are all examples of levers. Levers may be one of the most used simple machine. As with all simple machines like the lever, they are designed to help make work easier to do.
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