The lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, pulley, and screw are the six basic simple machines. Several of these small devices are interconnected. However, in the realm of labor, each has a distinct role. The lever is used to lift heavy objects; the wheel and axle to pull vehicles; the wedge to unstick pots from the floor or open jars; and the screw to drive gears or screws. Pulleys are useful for extending things like cables or belts beyond their normal length.
In addition to these six machines, there are two others that we will discuss here: the hydraulic ram and the electric motor.
A hydraulic ram uses fluid pressure to push against one side of a piston, which then moves back and forth inside the cylinder. As the piston moves back and forth, the volume it occupies changes, which causes the hydraulic fluid pressure inside the cylinder to change too. This in turn causes the piston to move forward again, applying more pressure to the next section of the cylinder. Hydraulic rams can be very large, but they use only a small part of their power output moving even a small object with them. They are most efficient when lifting weights that are equal to their own weight.
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy by means of a rotating magnetic field interacting with a copper coil wound around a soft iron core.
The inclined plane, lever, wedge, wheel and axle, pulley, and screw are examples of basic machines. These six mechanical devices all perform similar functions; that is, they each transform rotary motion into rectilinear motion. A basic machine does not necessarily function as a machine-tool bit will do if you let it hang forever.
In addition to these six types of machines, the compound machine is also considered basic. A compound machine has more than one type of moving part (for example, two or more wheels inside a single housing). However, both the simple machine and the complex machine can be improved by adding components such as flywheds or motors.
Finally, an assembly line is a collection of simple machines used together in sequence to produce a product. As you can see, there are many ways to classify machines.
Wedge, screw, lever, wheel, axel, inclined plane, and pulley are the six elementary machines. These are the only mechanical devices used by Rube Goldberg. He invented them all.
Rube Goldberg is most famous for his cartoons that have appeared in newspapers across the world since he started drawing them in 1908. In these drawings, Goldberg uses all of these machines to create simple tasks that people can complete with the help of physics experiments and odd mechanisms. These tasks include breaking open champagne bottles by firing craters into them with small rockets, tearing off one's clothes using rubber bands and safety pins, and so on.
Each cartoon consists of a series of drawings that explain how the machine in question works and what object it tries to destroy. For example, one cartoon may show how to make ice cream by first melting ice blocks with an electric heater and then freezing the mixture with salt and rock salt. Another may demonstrate how to play jazz music by taking a knife to a roll of tape until something interesting happens. There are over 100 original Goldberg cartoons online. They're all free to view, listen to, and read.
The most noteworthy of them are known as the "six basic machines": the wheel and axle, the lever, the inclined plane, the pulley, the screw, and the wedge, but the last three are simply extensions or combinations of the first three. Each one functions on different principles, but all are essential to modern manufacturing processes.
The wheel and axle is the simplest machine and it is used for horizontal movement. The axis about which the wheel turns can be vertical (as in a cart) or horizontal (as in a truck). This type of machine can lift very little weight because the size of the wheel affects its ability to move heavy objects. However, it is cost effective because a single person can operate it safely under low load conditions.
The second machine is the lever. It is used for raising weights or projecting levers. The fulcrum, or place where the force is applied, can be fixed or movable. If the fulcrum is fixed, the object lifted by the lever must be removed once it has been raised high enough. If the fulcrum is movable, the object can be placed some distance away from the lever and then lifted up later when it is at an appropriate height. For example, if the object to be lifted is too large to fit through a door, then it can be placed on a platform that is connected to the lever by a rope or chain.
The wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, screw, wedge, and lever are all examples of simple machines that are commonly utilized. The two most common types of simple machines are motors and generators.
A motor uses the mechanical energy of its driving source to generate electrical power. Motors can be divided into two main categories: electric and hydraulic. Electric motors include induction motors, synchronous motors, and switched-mode power supplies. Hydraulic motors use the mechanical energy of moving objects to generate electricity. Examples of hydraulic motors include fluid motors and turboprop engines.
Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor such as a copper wire. Electrons are particles that travel through material atoms inside of conductors such as wires or plates. Conductors allow electricity to flow because they have gaps between their atoms that make it possible for electrons to pass through. These gaps are called "poles" and they are negative charges for electrons to attach themselves to. When an electron moves from one pole to another it creates a line of force that causes electricity to flow.
In order for electricity to be useful it must be converted into something else.