Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Durgesh, a student:

A farmer uses a 2 m long lever to lift large rocks from the ground of his field . He places a fulcrum 20cm from the rock end of the lever and then stands on the other end, levering out the rock. If the farmer weighs 100 kg , what is the heaviest mass of the rock that he can lift using this method? (how to solve)

Hi Durgesh,


For a type 1lever to be in a balanced configuration The force times the distance to the fulcrum on one side must be equal to the force times the distance to the fulcrum on the other side. On one side the force is caused by the 100 kg weight of the farmer and on the other side the forced is caused by the x kg weight of the rock. Solve for x.


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