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Vocabulary from the Sonlight Instructors Guide

Applied science

The motivation behind it is aimed at trying to find something useful


Is a new process or machine that makes life better or makes a job easier

Simple Machine

A device that either multiplies or redirects a force


A push or pull exerted on an object to change that object's velocity


A fixed point


Simple machine that magnifies either force or motion


The force being applied to the lever


The weight the machine is manipulating

Mechanical Advantage

The amount by which force or motion is magnified in a simple machine

Mechanical advantage for the lever

Distance from the fulcrum to effort divided by the distance from fulcrum to resistance

First class lever

The fulcrum is positioned between the effort and resistance

Second class lever

The fulcrum is positioned at one end of the bar and the resistance is between the fulcrum and the effort

Third class lever

The fulcrum is at one end of the bar and the effort is between the fulcrum and the resistance


The length of a straight line that travels from one side of a circle to another and passes through the center of a circle

Mechanical advantage for the wheel and axle

Diameter of the wheel divided by the diameter of the axle


A grooved wheel that rotates freely on a frame

Block and tackle

Multiple pulley system. Mechanical advantage for pulleys in a block and tackle = numbers of pulleys used

Inclined Plane

Allows you to slide the load up rather than lifting it straight.

Mechanical advantage of the inclined plane

Length of the slope divided by height


Generally used to separate things

Mechanical advantage for the wedge

Length of the slope divided by height


The vertical distance between the threads of the screw

Mechanical advantage of the screw

circumfrence divided by pitch


The distance around a circle, equal to 3.1416 times the circle's diameter

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