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Glossary


COMPLEX MACHINES - two or more simple machines working together to make work easier.
Example:  Bicycle, egg beater, car, roller skates, watch, sewing machine, bulldozer, crane

EFFORT - the force that is applied to a machine to produce an action.
Example:  the effort is the force that turns the handle of a screw driver

FORCE - The push or pull that makes something move, slows it down or stops it, or the pressure that something exerts on an object.

FULCRUM - the point at which a lever turns.  The pivot on which a device such as a lever is supported so that it can balance, tilt, or swing.

INCLINED PLANES - a sloping surface.  An inclined plane can be used to alter the effort and distance involved in doing work, such as raising loads.  Inclined Planes can  be used to raise objects with less force than a straight lift.
Examples:  ramp, staircase, slide, escalator, slope

LEVERS - a rod that tilts about a pivot to produce a useful movement.  Levers lift or move loads.
Example:  Shovel, nutcracker, seesaw, crowbar, elbow, tweezers, bottle opener

LOAD - the force that  a simple machine overcomes.

If you apply a force by pushing or pulling on one part of the lever, the lever swings about the fulcrum to produce a useful action at another point. The force you apply is called the effort, and the lever moves at another point to raise a weight or overcome a resistance, both of which are called load.

PULLEY - a wheel over which a rope, chain, or belt passes.  Pulleys move things up, down, or across.
Example:  curtain rod, tow truck, mini blind, flag pole, crane

SCREW - Screws are inclined planes that are wrapped around a shaft.
Example:  ramp, staircase

SIMPLE MACHINES - tools used to make work easier.
Example: Pliers, wheelbarrow, bottle opener, nutcracker, hammer, fishing rod, tweezers, nail clippers, clothes pin

WEDGE - a part of a machine with a sloping side that moves to exert force.  A wedge is simply two inclined planes placed back to back.
Example:  knife, pin, nail, chisel, axe, snowplow, front of a boat

WHEEL AND AXLE - a class of rotating machines or devices in which effort applied to one part produces a useful movement at another part.  Wheel and axles lift and move loads.
Example:  car, wagon, doorknob, pencil sharpener, bike

WORK - a force acting on an object to move it across a distance.
Example:  Furniture movers do work when they move boxes, gardeners do work when they pull weeds, children do work when they go up and down on a see-saw.
 
 
 
 
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