Why are simple machines not 100% efficient?

2 Answers
Feb 4, 2015

Most simply, because nothing is 100% efficient.

Okay, got that out of the way... Now, practically, why are the simple machines not 100% efficient?

We do a lot of our work with "points" and "spherical cows " to simplify things. This helps us understand the problem/mechanics, but leaves out many of the "dirty" fundamental truths.

These fundamental truths come in many varieties, but in this specific case, The answer is friction...

Think about it:

a wheel and axle - friction of the rotating member against the non-rotating member (even the wheel against the ground). A pulley is just an extension of a wheel - friction between the rope and the pulley, more between the axle and the block.

An inclined plane - friction between the object on the plane and the plane itself. A screw is a special case of an inclined plane.

A wedge - again, friction (and this is very handy for door stoppers)

A lever - friction against the thing being moved, even with a fulcrum.

There's a long-ish Wikipedia article on this, too ...

Mar 17, 2015

it is so obvious that our huge factory machines are made of simple machines in parts.. for the huge work that we need in our world cannot mach to simple machines. All we do is that complex that simple machines to work faster and in a improved version. this is why simple machines aren't 100% efficient compared to the world of haste we live in.