Education Technology

Bell Ringer: Mechanical Advantage of a Single Fixed Pulley

Published on 08/08/2010

Activity Overview

Students explore a single-fixed-pulley system and examine data on the effort and resistance forces for various loads on the pulley system.

Key Steps

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    Students determine the mechanical advantage of a single fixed pulley. First, they examine data on the force needed to lift various masses using a pulley.

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    They calculate the resistance force on the pulley. They study the data to determine the approximate mechanical advantage of the pulley.

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    Finally, they make a plot of resistance force vs. effort force and use a best-fit line to find the average mechanical advantage. They confirm that the mechanical advantage of a single fixed pulley is one.