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Mechanical Advantage of a Lever

  1. Oct 5, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If a lever has a mechanical advantage of 0.5 - does this mean the input force is not amplified but halved?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2011 #2


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    Homework Helper

    yes !
  4. Oct 5, 2011 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    So you might wonder, "What's the advantage then, when I have to exert double the force?" Well, as is the way with simple levers, if one thing halves, something else will double. Can you figure out how we benefit here, with this type of lever?
  5. Oct 5, 2011 #4
    Work input = Work output
    (Force * distance) input = (Force * distance) output
    (Force * distance) input = (force/2 * distance2) output

    Distance is doubled, right?

    But what, exactly, is "distance" in terms of a lever?
  6. Oct 5, 2011 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Make one using a ruler or stick, and see if you can figure it out.
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