The Orders of Levers

Sat, 23 Jul 2011

Levers come in three types, or ‘orders’ The different orders refer to the way the three main parts of the lever are laid out. That is, the fulcum or pivot point, the load, the thing to be moved and the force.
In a first order lever, the fulcrum is in the middle between the force and the load, like, for example, in the see-saw.
In the second order lever the load is between the force and the fulcrum. The classic example of the second order lever is the wheel barrow where the long handles give mechanical advantage and make it easier to lift the weight of the barrow contents.
In the third order lever the force is between the fulcrum and the load. Many of the muscles in your body are third order levers, for example, the bicep in your arm that pulls your forearm up and down.

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