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The mathematical power of leverage


The common playground seesaw illustrates the workings of the lever.



The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, expounding on the power of the lever to multiply the amount of force that a single person can exert, once said “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth.”

He was right, too – though you’d also need an improbably long and strong lever. The underlying principle is in use all around us.

This video shows the wonders of leverage in action at your local playground, using the seesaw to illustrate the amazing implications and uses of the humble lever.

Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
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