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One of six types of simple machines. Consists of a rope and grooved wheel and is used to lift heavy loads.

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A Pulley To The Rescue

What are the uses of pulleys?

Credit: César Rincón, Helena Steffens
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polea-simple-fija.jpg http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cerf_volant_rouge1.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


A pulley consists of one or more pulleys and a rope or a cable. It is commonly used to lift very heavy objects. Consider the following scenario: You are flying a kite on a beautiful day and it gets tangled up in an extremely tall tree. You don’t have a ladder, but you need to retrieve your kite. A lady walks out of her home and asks if you need help. She too doesn’t have a ladder, but she does have a pulley!

Creative Applications

  1. How could you use the pulley to get your kite? 
  2. Describe how efficient your system is.  
  3. In this case, would a ladder or a pulley be better?
  4. What kind of a machine is a pulley an example of?

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