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What is a situation when a lever has potential energy?

Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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Hint: To solve this question we should learn about the functioning of the lever and the conditions in which potential energy is obtained. Potential energy is obtained in a body due to the virtue of its position or height. Hence, when any object will be located at a height and will maintain its position in a lever, it will have potential energy.

A lever is a simple machine consisting of a beam or rigid rod pivoted at a fixed hinge or a fulcrum. A lever is a rigid body that is capable of rotating or oscillating about a fixed point.Levers can be used to exert large forces over a short distance at one end by applying only a small force over a greater distance at the other.

We know that the lever has put away energy relying on its overall situation and its framework. Envision a crane that with the draw of the switch, the ball drops. The steel ball on the finish of the crane arm has more potential energy raised over the ground than it has subsequent to tumbling to the Earth. In the raised position it can do more harm.

Let us consider a lever on which two blocks are placed at the ends as shown in the figure.

Here, we have supposed that M>m, where M is the mass of the bigger block and m is the mass of the smaller block. Now, we can understand that the gravitational force will be greater on the heavier block, and hence, it will move downward as low as possible.After the heavier block has reached as low as possible, it will maintain the position, which can be considered as a stable position of the lever, which has very low energy.

Now, let us suppose the lighter end is pulled down and held with the help of a string or hook as shown in the figure.

So here we have to give energy to maintain the position of the lever. This energy will be stored in the lever. As the heavier body will be held at a height, the energy given to the lever will be stored as potential energy in the body. Hence, when any kind of constraint is applied to a lever due to which it is held in an inverse position as the lower energy stable position, the lever will have potential energy.

Note:In the above question, we have taken a comparison of two weights. We can also understand the question by only taking a block of some mass and applying some constraint on the opposite end of the lever due to which the lever will possess potential energy.