Model: 001 The Inclined Plane
The inclined plane is one of the basic principles of modern machinery. Its chief purpose is to enable a small force to over-come a large force. The act of rolling a barrel up a plank into a wagon is a simple example of the use of the inclined plane. Modifications of this principle are the wedge and screw.
[Virginia Downward & William M. Clark, 1930]

[Editor's Note: In the upper model in this panel the wheel has fallen off the inclined plane. The use of the so-called 'simple machines' of the screw, lever, inclined plane, etc goes back to the Greeks and the school of Aristotle. Their use is based on the idea of machines as force transformation devices. This view of the machine was replaced by the Paris school of kinematics in the Ecole Polytechnique around 1800. A machine is viewed as a motion changing device. In Reuleaux's scheme, the 'simple machines' are parts of kinematic mechanisms or machine elements. However the 'simple machine' concept still persists in elementary school texts on machines and physics in the USA. FCM]

Francis Moon 2005-00-00

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