The mighty mathematics of the lever

Smith was trying to pull out a nail from the wall with hands but even after putting so much of effort he was unsuccessful . Then came Joe to help out his friend and gave him a hammer to take it out.  Smith easily took off the stubborn nail from the wall using a hammer. He was curious to know the science behind this..

Joe told him, this is ” The Mighty Mathematics of the Lever”. Further Joe said to Smith let me tell you how it all began.



This famous mathematician had once said “give me a place to stand and I shall lift the earth”.Smith on hearing this couldn’t believe his ear’s but Joe questioned him” Smith tell me if somebody who weighs more  than you sits on the opposite end of a seesaw and you are stuck in the air what do you do?”. ” I just move back and down I go” said Smith.” So Smith you are using a lever” replied Joe.

What’s a LEVER

A  lever is a simple machine , reducing the amount of energy required to do a work.  There are three main components of a lever- the EFFORT  arm ,the RESISTANCE arm and the FULCRUM.

How the principle works?

Joe now started explaining the mechanism behind -When we take the example of a seesaw the weight of your friend is Resistance force and your weights is the effort force. Archimedes had learnt that there was some relationship between these forces and their distance from the fulcrum. He got to know that lever  would be balanced when the product of effort force and the length of the effort arm will be equal to the product of  resistance force and the length of the resistance arm. We know that the work measured in joules is equal to the force applied over a distance. By increasing the distance we can apply less force.

Now that is why with the help of hammer you distribute the weight across both the arms and using a lever easily pull out nails.

Application of lever

Smith said to Joe” Now I got it my friend, with the help of a lever one can lift heavy things just by increasing the length of  other arm of the lever.”

“Exactly Smith, like the ones used to build pyramids,and use of  wedges and screws is also due to this principle ” said Joe.

Concluding the discussion

Smith with a smirk on his face said to Joe ” Hey I think Archimedes was correct hypothetically . If he could make a lever with length of arm about quadrillion light years and stand on the end he could easily lift the earth.”

Joe too replied with a smile on his face” indeed levers have made our lives easier”.

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