Simple Machines

We use machines to help us do work. Machines reduce the amount of force we have to exert to move objects or produce work. A simple machine is one of various devices that are made of very simple parts, but yet do a lot to make work easier. These simple machines are ones that people have been using for more than 2000 years to help them in their daily chores. They include:

  • Inclined planes (ramps)
  • Levers
  • Wheels and axles
  • Pulleys

In the next few pages you will see examples of each of the simple machines listed above.  Of course, there are more complicated machines in our world today than there were 2000 years ago, yet many of today’s mechanical machines are still based on these few basic ones. You, no doubt, use some of these machines on a regular basis.  Look at the similarities between ancient and modern machines in this picture:

Simple Machines