Mechanical Leverage Calculator

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Calculator / Last modified by KurtHeckman on 2017/12/28 15:20
y - (beam length)
W - (lift mass/weight)
x - (fulcrum position)
F - (downward force)
L = x + y

The Mechanical Leverage Calculator computes the force lever.png  The simple Lever that a lever can lift, and the length of a lever needed to lift a force.  The user can choose from many different length units for the lever (e.g. feet, meters) and different weight (mass) units (e.g. pounds, kilograms, tons U.S., tons Metric).  
                      W •  x = F •  y

INSTRUCTIONS: This calculator has five functions related to the mechanical lever:

The Amazing Lever

Archimedes once said, "Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth."  While this might be a bit of an exaggeration, Archimedes clearly understood the power of the simple lever.  Levers are still used in the basic construction of many complex machines.  Every hydraulic arm on bulldozers and tractors use leverage in performing their tasks.

What can you lift?

Using the calculator above, compute how much weight you could lift using a simple piece of lumber and concrete block as the fulcrum.  If you weigh as much as me (200 lbs), and you use an 8 foot 2x4, and place the fulcrum at 1 foot, you can lift an object 1,400 pounds!  If you move the fulcrum six inches toward the weight (x = 6", y = 7.5'), you can lift 3,000 lbs.  That's the amazing lever.

Levers save lives in emergencies!

The power of a lever is not only useful, but is can save lives.  Rescuers often use levers to lift heavy objects to reach people in collapsed building or under broken machines.  

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