6 Simple Machines Doe


Simple Machine

A simple machine is a non-motorized device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force. In general, a simple machine can be defined as one of the simplest mechanisms that provide mechanical advantage.


An inclined plane is a flat supporting surface tilted at an angle, with one end higher than the other, used as an aid for raising or lowering a load. The inclined plane is one of the six classical simple machines defined by Renaissance scientists. Inclined planes are widely used to move heavy loads over vertical obstacles; examples vary from a ramp used to load goods into a truck, to a person walking up a pedestrian ramp, to an automobile or railroad train climbing a grade. Moving an object up an inclined plane requires less force than lifting it straight up, at a cost of an increase in the distance moved.


A wedge is a triangular shaped tool, a compound and portable inclined plane, and one of the six classical simple machines. It can be used to separate two objects or portions of an object, lift up an object, or hold an object in place. It functions by converting a force applied to its blunt end into forces perpendicular (normal) to its inclined surfaces. The mechanical advantage of a wedge is given by the ratio of the length of its slope to its width. Although a short wedge with a wide angle may do a job faster, it requires more force than a long wedge with a narrow angle.