A lever is a simple machine used to make work easier. It consists of a long, rigid bar with a support that allows the bar to pivot. The point where the bar pivots is the fulcrum. There are three classes of levers—first, second, and third. We will examine first-class levers in this experiment. Crowbars and scissors are examples of first-class levers. A lever can help you move an object by increasing the force you exert. Mechanical advantage (MA) is a value that tells the number of times a machine increases an applied force. In this experiment, you will study first-class levers using a computer-interfaced Force Sensor to measure resistance force and effort force (in newtons). You will then use this information to calculate the mechanical advantage of each lever.


In this experiment, you will

  • Measure force.
  • Calculate actual mechanical advantage (AMA).
  • Calculate ideal mechanical advantage (IMA).
  • Calculate percent difference.
  • Make conclusions about levers.