So, I’ll be straight to the point with this one, since I’m trying to make this post live up to its title. The topic that I’ll be discussing is on simple machines. Don’t let the name fool you, though, because identifying these in the real world is no small feat. The reason why is because many of the tools at our disposal are created by combining these simple machines, so you have to get creative with applying what you know about them. You see, simple machines are basic mechanical devices used in applying force. Like the bare essentials and when used correctly, they can help us achieve more for less. So, in honor of these energy-saving devices, I decided to make a chart enumerating the following simple machines:
- Inclined Plane
- Wheel and Axle
I wanted to start off with the lever because, well, we see this every time we rush to the dinner table to eat. If you guessed that both the spoon and fork are levers, you guessed correctly, my friend. This simple machine helps lift heavy objects by applying a force on one end of a rod that is fixed at a certain point. Other examples of a lever is the hammer and the seesaw.
Then, there’s the inclined plane. Examples of inclined planes are ramps and stairs. Its primary function, if you haven’t guessed it yet, is to be able to move an object to a higher elevation. It basically saves us the trouble of having to lift the object, because then, we would be against gravity. When using an inclined plane, however, you would only need to overcome friction, which can be easily remedied by using the next simple machine on the list, which is the wheel and axle. This simple machine helps us move loads over long distances with little ease. A car makes use of the wheel and axle to be able to move.
If, however, you don’t want to push whatever you need to move up a ramp, then you can opt to use a pulley, which is another simple machine. With a wheel and rope, objects can be carried vertically with ease, since instead of pulling the object upwards against gravity, you would just need to pull down on the rope to lift the object up.
But, wait. There’s more. Still on the topic of a ramp, warp it into a spiral and you have a screw, yet another simple machine. Now, a screw is essentially a device that is very good at holding things together. Its form can also be used to move objects upwards to a higher position and since it moves it in a circle, the device takes up less space. Examples include the screw (duh), spiral staircases, and jar caps. Pretty neat, if you ask me. Anyway, last but not the least, we have the wedge, the most interesting of all the simple machines, well at least for my case. From two inclined planes, cutting tools can be created. That’s basically the purpose of a wedge: to be able to cut other objects. With the point of contact being sharp, which means less surface area, you don’t need too much effort before the object splits into to two. Useful, right?
Whoa, I didn’t notice that this post got long. Either way, I hope I was able to relay how important these devices are, and how much harder our lives would have been if we haven’t come across them.