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When a force acts upon an object to cause a displacement of the object, it is said that work was done upon the object.

There are three key ingredients to work force, displacement, and cause. In order for a force to qualify as having done work on an object, there must be a displacement and the force must cause the displacement.

There are several good examples of work that can be observed in everyday life

a horse pulling a plow through the field, a father pushing a grocery cart down the aisle of a grocery store, a freshman lifting a backpack full of books upon her shoulder, a weightlifter lifting a barbell above his head, an Olympian launching the shot-put, etc. In each case described here there is a force exerted upon an object to cause that object to be displaced.

Quick Quiz!

Read the following statements and determine whether or not they represent examples of work.

No. This is not an example of work. The wall is not displaced. A force must cause a displacement in order for work to be done.

2. A book falls off a table and free falls to the ground. Yes. This is an example of work. There is a force (gravity) which acts on the book which causes it to be displaced in a downward direction (i.e., "fall").

3. A waiter carries a tray full of meals above his head by one arm straight across the room at constant speed.

No. This is not an example of work. There is a force (the waiter pushes up on the tray) and there is a displacement (the tray is moved horizontally across the room). Yet the force does not cause the displacement. To cause a displacement, there must be a component of force in the direction of the displacement.

Yes. This is an example of work. There is a force (the expelled gases push on the rocket) which causes the rocket to be displaced through space.

where F is the force, d is the displacement, and the angle (theta) is defined as the angle between the force and the displacement vector.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the above equation is the angle "theta." The angle is not just any angle, but rather a very specific angle. The angle measure is defined as the angle between the force and the displacement. To gather an idea of it's meaning, consider the following three scenarios.

Scenario A: A force acts rightward upon an object as it is displaced rightward. In such an instance, the force vector and the displacement vector are in the same direction. Thus, the angle between F and d is 0 degrees.

Scenario B: A force acts leftward upon an object that is displaced rightward. In such an instance, the force vector and the displacement vector are in the opposite direction. Thus, the angle between F and d is 180 degrees.

Scenario C: A force acts upward on an object as it is displaced rightward. In such an instance, the force vector and the displacement vector are at right angles to each other. Thus, the angle between F and d is 90 degrees.

To Do Work, Forces Must Cause Displacements Let's consider Scenario C above in more detail. Scenario C involves a situation similar to the waiter who carried a tray full of meals above his head by one arm straight across the room at constant speed. It was mentioned earlier that the waiter does not do work upon the tray as he carries it across the room.

The force supplied by the waiter on the tray is an upward force and the displacement of the tray is a horizontal displacement.

As such, the angle between the force and the displacement is 90 degrees. If the work done by the waiter on the tray were to be calculated, then the results would be 0. Regardless of the magnitude of the force and displacement, F*d*cosine 90 degrees is 0 (since the cosine of 90 degrees is 0). A vertical force can never cause a horizontal displacement; thus, a vertical force does not do work on a horizontally displaced object!!

It can be accurately noted that the waiter's hand did push forward on the tray for a brief period of time to accelerate it from rest to a final walking speed.

But once up to speed, the tray will stay in its straightline motion at a constant speed without a forward force. And if the only force exerted upon the tray during the constant speed stage of its motion is upward, then no work is done upon the tray.

The equation for work lists three variables each variable is associated with one of the three key words mentioned in the definition of work (force, displacement, and cause). The angle theta in the equation is associated with the amount of force that causes a displacement. When a force is exerted on an object at an angle to the horizontal, only a part of the force contributes to (or causes) a horizontal displacement.

Let's consider the force of a chain pulling upwards and rightwards upon Fido in order to drag Fido to the right. It is only the horizontal component of the tension force in the chain that causes Fido to be displaced to the right. The horizontal component is found by multiplying the force F by the cosine of the angle between F and d In this sense, the cosine theta in the work equation relates to the cause factor - it selects the portion of the force that actually causes a displacement.

When determining the measure of the angle in the work equation, it is important to recognize that the angle has a precise definition - it is the angle between the force and the displacement vector. Be sure to avoid mindlessly using any angle in the equation. A common physics lab involves applying a force to displace a cart up a ramp to the top of a chair or box.

A force is applied to a cart to displace it up the incline at constant speed. Several incline angles are typically used; yet, the force is always applied parallel to the incline. The displacement of the cart is also parallel to the incline. Since F and d are in the same direction, the angle theta in the work equation is 0 degrees. Nevertheless, most students experienced the strong temptation to measure the angle of incline and use it in the equation. Don't forget: the angle in the equation is not just any angle. It is defined as the angle between the force and the displacement vector.

On occasion, a force acts upon a moving object to hinder a displacement. Examples might include a car skidding to a stop on a roadway surface or a baseball runner sliding to a stop on the infield dirt. In such instances, the force acts in the direction opposite the objects motion in order to slow it down. The force doesn't cause the displacement but rather hinders it. These situations involve called negative work. what is commonly

The negative of negative work refers to the numerical value that results when values of F, d and theta are substituted into the work equation. Since the force vector is directly opposite the displacement vector, theta is 180 degrees. The cosine(180 degrees) is -1 and so a negative value results for the amount of work done upon the object. Negative work will become important (and more meaningful) when we discuss the relationship between work and energy.

Units of Work

Whenever a new quantity is introduced in physics, the standard metric units associated with that quantity are discussed. In the case of work (and also energy), the standard metric unit is the Joule (abbreviated J). One Joule is equivalent to one Newton of force causing a displacement of one meter. In other words,

In fact, any unit of force times any unit of displacement is equivalent to a unit of work. Some nonstandard units for work are shown below. Notice that when analyzed, each set of units is equivalent to a force unit times a displacement unit.

In summary, work is done when a force acts upon an object to cause a displacement. Three quantities must be known in order to calculate the amount of work. Those three quantities are force, displacement and the angle between the force and the displacement.

Diagram A Answer:

W = (100 N) (5 m) cos 0 = 500 J The force and the displacement are given in the problem statement. It is said (or shown or implied) that the force and the displacement are both rightward. Since F and d are in the same direction, the angle is 0 degrees.

Diagram B Answer:

W = (100 N) (5 m) cos 30 = 433 J The force and the displacement are given in the problem statement. It is said that the displacement is rightward. It is shown that the force is 30 degrees above the horizontal. Thus, the angle between F and d is 30 degrees.

Diagram C Answer:

W = (147 N) (5 m) cos 0 = 735 J The displacement is given in the problem statement. The applied force must be 147 N since the 15-kg mass (Fgrav=147 N) is lifted at constant speed. Since F and d are in the same direction, the angle is 0 degrees.

Free-Body Diagram

1. A 10-N force is applied to push a block across a friction free surface for a displacement of 5.0 m to the right.

Forces Doing Work on the Object Only Fapp does work. Fgrav and Fnorm do not do work since a vertical force cannot cause a horizontal displacement.

Amount of Work Done by Each Force Wapp = (10 N) (5 m) cos 0 = +50 Joules

Free-Body Diagram

2. A 10-N frictional force slows a moving block to a stop after a displacement of 5.0 m to the right.

Forces Doing Work on the Object Only Ffrict does work. Fgrav and Fnorm do not do work since a vertical force cannot cause a horizontal displacement.

Amount of Work Done by Each Force Wfrict = (10 N) (5 m) cos 180 = -50 Joules

Free-Body Diagram

3. An approximately 2-kg object is pulled upward at constant speed by a 20-N force for a vertical displacement of 5 m.

Forces Doing Work on the Object Both Fgrav and Ftens do work. Forces do work when there is some component of force in the same or opposite direction of the displacement.

Amount of Work Done by Each Force Wtens = (20 N) (5 m) cos 0 = +100 Joules Wgrav = (20 N) (5 m) cos 180 = -100 Joules

Potential Energy

An object can store energy as the result of its position. For example, the heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy.

Similarly, a drawn bow is able to store energy as the result of its position. When assuming its usual position (i.e., when not drawn), there is no energy stored in the bow. Yet when its position is altered from its usual equilibrium position, the bow is able to store energy by virtue of its position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy.

Potential energy is the stored energy of position possessed by an object.

The two previous examples illustrate the two forms of potential energy to be discussed - gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy. Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position or height. The energy is stored as the result of the gravitational attraction of the Earth for the object. The gravitational potential energy of the massive ball of a demolition machine is dependent on two variables - the mass of the ball and the height to which it is raised. There is a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the mass of an object. More massive objects have greater gravitational potential energy. There is also a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the height of an object. The higher that an object is elevated, the greater the gravitational potential energy. These relationships are expressed by the following equation:

In the above equation, m represents the mass of the object, h represents the height of the object and g represents the gravitational field strength (9.8 N/kg on Earth) - sometimes referred to as the acceleration of gravity.

Since the gravitational potential energy of an object is directly proportional to its height above the zero position, a doubling of the height will result in a doubling of the gravitational potential energy. A tripling of the height will result in a tripling of the gravitational potential energy.

Use this principle to determine the blanks in the following diagram. Knowing that the potential energy at the top of the tall platform is 50 J, what is the potential energy at the other positions shown on the stair steps and the incline?

A: PE = 40 J (since the same mass is elevated to 4/5-ths height of the top stair) B: PE = 30 J (since the same mass is elevated to 3/5-ths height of the top stair) C: PE = 20 J (since the same mass is elevated to 2/5-ths height of the top stair) D: PE = 10 J (since the same mass is elevated to 1/5-ths height of the top stair)

E and F: PE = 0 J (since the same mass is at the same zero height position as

shown for the bottom stair).

The second form of potential energy that we will discuss is elastic potential energy. Elastic potential energy is the energy stored in elastic materials as the result of their stretching or compressing. Elastic potential energy can be stored in rubber bands, bungee chords, trampolines, springs, an arrow drawn into a bow, etc. The amount of elastic potential energy stored in such a device is related to the amount of stretch of the device - the more stretch, the more stored energy.

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object that has motion - whether it is vertical or horizontal motion - has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and translational (the energy due to motion from one location to another). To keep matters simple, we will focus upon translational kinetic energy. The amount of translational kinetic energy (from here on, the phrase kinetic energy will refer to translational kinetic energy) that an object has depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.

This equation reveals that the kinetic energy of an object is directly proportional to the square of its speed. That means that for a twofold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of four. For a threefold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of nine. And for a fourfold increase in speed, the kinetic energy will increase by a factor of sixteen. The kinetic energy is dependent upon the square of the speed.

Kinetic energy is a scalar quantity; it does not have a direction. Unlike velocity, acceleration, force, and momentum, the kinetic energy of an object is completely described by magnitude alone. Like work and potential energy, the standard metric unit of measurement for kinetic energy is the Joule. As might be implied by the above equation, 1 Joule is equivalent to 1 kg*(m/s)2.

1. Determine the kinetic energy of a 625-kg roller coaster car that is moving with a speed of 18.3 m/s. KE = 0.5 mv2 KE = (0.5) (625 kg) (18.3 m/s)2 KE = 1.05 x105 Joules 2. If the roller coaster car in the above problem were moving with twice the speed, then what would be its new kinetic energy? If the speed is doubled, then the KE is quadrupled. Thus, KE = 4 (1.04653 x 105 J) = 4.19 x 105 Joules or KE = 0.5 m v2 KE = 0.5 (625 kg) (36.6 m/s)2 KE = 4.19 x 105 Joules

Mechanical Energy

Mechanical energy is the energy that is possessed by an object due to its motion or due to its position. Mechanical energy can be either kinetic energy (energy of motion) or potential energy (stored energy of position). Objects have mechanical energy if they are in motion and/or if they are at some position relative to a zero potential energy position(for example, a brick held at a vertical position above the ground or zero height position).

A moving car possesses mechanical energy due to its motion kinetic energy. A moving baseball possesses mechanical energy due to both its high speed kinetic energy and its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A World Civilization book at rest on the top shelf of a locker possesses mechanical energy due to its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A barbell lifted high above a weightlifter's head possesses mechanical energy due to its vertical position above the ground (gravitational potential energy). A drawn bow possesses mechanical energy due to its stretched position (elastic potential energy).

As already mentioned, the mechanical energy of an object can be the result of its motion (i.e., kinetic energy) and/or the result of its stored energy of position (i.e., potential energy).

The total amount of mechanical energy is merely the sum of the potential energy and the kinetic energy. This sum is simply referred to as the total mechanical energy (abbreviated TME).

TME = PE + KE

As discussed earlier, there are two forms of potential energy discussed in our course gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy. Given this fact, the above equation can be rewritten:

The total mechanical energy of Li Ping Phar is the sum of the potential and kinetic energies. The two forms of energy sum up to 50 000 Joules. Notice also that the total mechanical energy of Li Ping Phar is a constant value throughout her motion. There are conditions under which the total mechanical energy will be a constant value and conditions under which it will be a changing value.

Power

The quantity work has to do with a force causing a displacement.

Work has nothing to do with the amount of time that this force acts to cause the displacement. Sometimes, the work is done very quickly and other times the work is done rather slowly.

For example, a rock climber takes an abnormally long time to elevate her body up a few meters along the side of a cliff. On the other hand, a trail hiker (who selects the easier path up the mountain) might elevate her body a few meters in a short amount of time. The two people might do the same amount of work, yet the hiker does the work in considerably less time than the rock climber. The quantity that has to do with the rate at which a certain amount of work is done is known as the power. The hiker has a greater power rating than the rock climber.

Power is the rate at which work is done. It is the work/time ratio. Mathematically, it is computed using the following equation.

The standard metric unit of power is the Watt. As is implied by the equation for power, a unit of power is equivalent to a unit of work divided by a unit of time. Thus, a Watt is equivalent to a Joule/second. For historical reasons, the horsepower is occasionally used to describe the power delivered by a machine. One horsepower is equivalent to approximately 750 Watts.

This new equation for power reveals that a powerful machine is both strong (big force) and fast (big velocity).

A powerful car engine is strong and fast. A powerful piece of farm equipment is strong and fast. A powerful weightlifter is strong and fast. A powerful lineman on a football team is strong and fast. A machine that is strong enough to apply a big force to cause a displacement in a small mount of time is a powerful machine.

Two physics students, Joshua and Jonas, are in the weightlifting room. Joshua lifts the 100-pound barbell over his head 10 times in one minute; Jonas lifts the 100-pound barbell over his head 10 times in 10 seconds. 1. Which student does the most work? 2. Which student delivers the most power? Explain your answers.

JOSHUA

JONAS

Joshua and Jonas do the same amount of work. They apply the same force to lift the same barbell the same distance above their heads.

Yet, Jonas is the most "power-full" since he does the same work in less time. Power and time are inversely proportional.

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