Which is the pivot point in a shovel

What levers are there and what are they good for?

Levers help us to generate a lot of force with little effort. They make everyday life easier, for example when cutting, cracking nuts or transporting them. Behind this is the leverage effect. A lever extends the path that a force travels and thereby increases it.

There are different types of levers that are either one-sided or two-sided. All have a rigid body and a pivot point. Some levers are straight, others are angled.

A wheelbarrow, for example, is a one-way, straight lever. Its pivot point is on the outside of the cart wheel. The load to be carried is in the middle and the force is applied at the other end of the lever when lifting the wheelbarrow.

Figure 1 shows you how exactly. The wheelbarrow makes it easier to transport the load because the force covers a longer distance than the load that is lifted up. The handles of the wheelbarrow are lifted about four times higher than the load. This makes the load four times lighter. Ah!

The one-sided and straight levers also include staplers or nutcrackers. But there are also one-sided levers with an angle. With these, the pivot point is also on one end of the lever. The load is on the other end and the force is applied in the middle. This is how a pair of tweezers or a fishing rod works, for example.

Scissors, pliers or seesaw, on the other hand, are two-sided levers. There the pivot point is in the middle. He divides the lever into two sides. Power and charge are on the outsides. For example, if a light person wants to rock with a heavy person, the heavy person must sit closer to the pivot point and the light person as far out as possible. This is the only way to lengthen the force arm - that is the path that the force covers. See figure 2.

Mathematically, the leverage can be calculated using this formula:
Force times force arm = load times load arm.

The following applies to the seesaw: If one person on the seesaw weighs twice as much as the other, then the load arm must be half as long as the force arm.

In general, the heavier a load and the smaller the force, the larger the force arm should be compared to the load arm. Ah!

By the way:

The leverage and its formula was described by the mathematician Archimedes over two thousand years ago.