May 25th, 2014, 10:14 AM
Originally Posted by

**curious_**
Ok, I'm not a physics major and I'm reading 'the way things work' by macaulay and it says that if you have a mammoth on one end of a lever and 9 people on the other side lifting it, and then you move the fulcrum 3x closer to the load that you would only need a third of the people to lift the mammoth. At face value it seems fine, but when I try to think about it logically I just don't understand how doing that would make it so much easier to lift the weight. Can someone please explain in layman's terms how moving a fulcrum 3x closer to a load for say a 10,000 pound object can shed almost 7,000 lbs off the weight?

It should be noted that while moving the fulcrum 3x closer allows the load to be lifted with only a third of the force, the load can only be lifted a third of the distance. Thus, it requires the same amount of work to lift the load regardless of where the fulcrum is.

**There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.**