Big Machine

Big Machine

See this exhibit in the relocated and reinvented Launchpad - the Science Museum's most popular hands-on, brains-on gallery.

Simple machines are everywhere, from pulleys on a building site to levers on canal lock gates. Launchpad has taken five simple machines - pulley, lever, wheel and axle, wedge and screw - and combined them to create the Big Machine.

See for yourself how long levers are easier to move than short ones. Try moving thousands of rice-like pellets with an Archimedes screw. Turn the giant wheel to lift the pellets high above your head, then watch them cascade back down.

Grain Pit was one of the original and most famous exhibits in Launchpad - unveiled with the original gallery in 1986. Now, more than 20 years on, Big Machine takes exploring simple machines to a whole new level.

 
Currently on display in:
Launchpad
 

Other exhibits

Launchpad online