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# Mechanical advantage

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**Mechanical advantage** (also written as **MA** in formulas) is the factor by which a machine multiplies force. The mechanical advantage of a machine can be used to find out how well a machine works and whether it can perform a particular job.

The mechanical advantage of a machine is the ratio of the load (the resistance overcome by a machine) to the effort (the force applied).

- [math]MA = \frac{\text{output force}}{\text{input force}}[/math]

For an ideal (without friction) mechanism, it is also equal to:

- [math]MA = \frac{\text{distance over which effort is applied}}{\text{distance over which the load is moved}}[/math]

There is no unit for mechanical advantages since the unit for both input and output forces cancel out.