Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Inclined Plane

Over a christmas dinner the topic of 'The Inclined Plane' came up. I was a bit surprised nobody else knew anything about it and my explanations were not great.

Here is the deal, there are, in physics, 6 simple machines:
1. The Inclined Plane
2. The Wheel (and axle)
3. The lever
4. The Wedge
5. The Pulley
6. The Screw (or Archimedes' Screw)

I find it a bit odd that there are 6 of these and had thought there not so many of these because the wedge and screw are examples of inclined planes, and the pulley is a wheel! Apparently ALL MACHINES are based in some way on 1 of these 6 (or 3 depending on how you look at it) machines!

Another website on the 6 machines suggests there are only really 3.

"Although we refer to the six simple machines there is really only three - the lever, the wheel & axle, and the inclined plane. The wedge, the pulley, and the screw are modifications of the first three."

So, there you have it, the inclined plane - where would we be without it?!


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