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Where is a pulley used?

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Pulleys afford a mechanical advantage in, for example, the lifting of heavy or awkward loads to various heights. While pulleys are not particularly efficient (energy is lost to friction, and the pulleys and cables/ropes add their own weight to the load lifted), they allow the application of a lesser force over a greater distance.

The effect of a pulley is analogous to the gears of a bicycle; a lower gear makes it easier to turn the pedals, but they must be turned more often for the bicycle to travel the same distance. Likewise, a pulley system makes it easier to lift a load, but the length of cable used to lift the load is greater than the distance the load is lifted. The more pulleys that are used, the easier it is to lift the load, but the longer the length of cable needed to lift the the same distance.

Examples of pulley usage in the real world include:

- lifting heavy machinery, materials, and tools to heights at building sites.

- hoisting patients between a bed and wheelchair using a sling attached to pulleys, allowing the task to be undertaken by a single person.
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What is the pulley used for?

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