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Work and Energy

Work

Work

The work done by a constant force on an object that is undergoing a

straight line displacement is given by

W F S

Definition of work is based on observations. You do work by exerting the

force on an object while that object moves from one place to another
(undergoes displacement):

Work

W F S

Jewel

1 J = 1 Nm

James Joule
1818 - 1889

Work

You push a stalled car through a displacement S with a constant force F in

the direction of motion:

W F S

You push a stalled car through a displacement S with a constant force F at

angle to the direction of motion:

W F S cos

Work and Kinetic Energy

From the definition of work we know that the total work done on an
object is related to its displacement (changes in position).

W F S

Forces acting on a block: its weight, normal

force, and the force F exerted by the hand.

A.

The net force on a block is

in the direction of its
motion. From N2L, this
means that the block
speeds up. W=FS also
tells us that the total work
will be positive.

B.

Here only the component

Fcos contributes to Wtotal.
The block speeds up as well.

Forces acting on a block: its weight, normal

force, and the force F exerted by the hand.

C.

The net force here opposes

the displacement. From
N2L, this means that the
block slows down. W=FS
also tells us that the total
work will be negative.

D.

Here the net force is zero,

so the speed of the block
stays the same, and Wtotal is
zero.

Forces acting on a block: its weight, normal

force, and the force F exerted by the hand.

Work and Kinetic Energy

Consider a particle with mass m moving along the x-axis under the action of
a constant net force with magnitude F directed along the positive x-axis.

Suppose, speed changes from v1 to v2 while particle undergoes a

displacement S=x2-x1 from point x1 to x2.

v22 v12 2 a x S
v22 v12
F ma x m
2S

v22 v12
ax
S x2 x1
2S
1
1
F S mv22 mv12
2
2

Work and Kinetic Energy

1 2 1 2
F S mv2 mv1
2
2

The product FS is the work done by the net force. Thus, it is equal to the
total work Wtotal done by all the forces acting on a particle.

1 2
K mv
2

Like work, kinetic energy of a particle is a scalar quantity: it depends on

particles mass and speed, not its direction of motion.

Car has the same kinetic energy when going north at 10m/s as
when going east at 10m/s.

Kinetic energy can never be negative; its zero when particle is at rest.

Work - Energy Theorem

F S

1 2 1 2
mv2 mv1
2
2

Ki

1 2
mvi
2

F S K 2 K1

Work done by the net force on a particle equals the change in the
particles kinetic energy:

Wtot K 2 K1 K

object will "slow down" if Wtotal < 0, K2 < K1

object will "maintain the same speed (constant) if Wtotal =0, K2=K1

Speeds and distances must be measured in inertial frame of reference!

Kinetic energy and work have the same units (Joules, or Nm):

1J 1N m 1(kg ) m 1kg
m
s2

m2
s2

Kinetic Energy

The example with the hammerhead gives insight into the physical
meaning of kinetic energy.
The hammerhead was dropped from rest, and its kinetic energy when it
hits the I-beam equals the total work done on it up to that point by the
net force.
To accelerate a particle with mass m from rest (zero kinetic energy) up
to a speed v, the total work done on it must equal the change in kinetic
energy from zero to K=0.5mv2:

Wtot K 0 K

K 1 mv 2
2

Kinetic energy of a particle is equal to the total work that was

done to accelerate it from rest to its present speed.
Or from its present speed to rest!

Catch the ball right pull your hand back, increasing distance to stop
the ball: ball does the work on your hand equal to the balls initial kinetic
energy Wtot=FS=0.5mv2.

Pulling hand back, you maximize the distance over which this force acts
and thus minimize the force on your hand.

Composite Systems

Man standing on frictionless roller skates on a level

surface, pushes against the rigid wall, setting himself in
motion to the right.
Forces acting on him: his weight W, upward normal
forces n1 and n2 exerted by the ground on his skates,
and the horizontal force F exerted on him by the wall.
No vertical displacement, so forces W, n1 and n2 do
NO work. Force F exerted on him by the wall is
horizontal force that accelerates him to the right, but his
hands dont move. So this force doesnt do work as well.
Where does the mans kinetic energy come from?
This system is not a single point (or particle)
Various parts of the body interact with each other (here:
his hands are still, but his torso moves)
Total kinetic energy of this composite system of body
parts can change, even no work is done by forces
applied outside the system.

Forces

We know that work done by a constant force on an object that is

undergoing a straight line displacement is given by

W F S

What happens when force exerted on an object is NOT constant

and the object moves in path which is NOT straight?

Example: spring, stretched

More you stretch it, the harder you have to pull: thus the
force is non-constant

Lets divide the total displacement by small segments xa, xb, xc

Total work done during segment xa: ~ by the average force Fa in this
segment multiplied by the displacement xa.

All segments:

W Fa xa Fb xb ... F f x f Fm xm

In the limit, the sum is integral of Fx from x1 to x2.

x2

W lim Fm xm Fx dx
x 0

x1

On a graph of force as function of

position, the total work done by this
force is represented by the area
under the curve between the initial
and final positions.

Varying x-component of force,

straight-line displacement

Lets check it: if Fx is constant from x1 to x2.:

x2

x2

x1

x1

W Fx dx Fx dx Fx ( x2 x1 ) F S

Hookes Law

To keep ideal spring stretched by amount x beyond its initial length, we

need to apply on the end the force which is proportional to x:

Fx k x

Example: Force constant k

Floppy toy spring: k=1 N/m

Force required to stretch a spring

K spring (force) constant, [N/m]

Car suspension spring: k=105 N/m

Robert Hooke
1635 1703
... lean, bent and ugly man ...

Hookes Law
To stretch a spring, you must do work
Suppose one end of a spring is fixed, you apply force on another end
That end moves, so the force does work
Work done by the force when spring elongation goes from zero to X:

1 2
W Fx dx kxdx kX
2
0
0

Total work is ~ to square of final

elongation
Graph, Area under the curve: W

1
X kX
2

If spring was initially already stretched a

distance x1, the work to stretch it to a
greater elongation x2:
x2

x2

1 2 1 2
W Fx dx kxdx kx2 kx1
2
2
x1
x1

What happens if you

compress the spring?

Hookes Law
What happens if you compress the spring?
Compression:
Force Fx and displacement x are both negative

Force is in the same direction as displacement: work is positive

Example is following

Fx
x

Varying Forces: Work - Energy

Theorem

One can use the same approach: divide total displacement into segments

Sum the changes to find Wtot

Another way:

dv x
dx
ax
, vx
dt
dt

x2

x2

x2

x1

x1

x1

Wtot Fx dx ma x dx

dv x
mvx
dx
dx

(dvx/dx)dx is the change in velocity dvx during displacement dx. Thus:

Wtot

x2

x1

dv x dv x dx
dv x
ax

vx
dt
dx dt
dx

1 2 1 2
mvx dv x mv2 mv1
2
2

Work Energy Theorem is the same: valid for varying forces as well !

Force that varies in direction and magnitude

Displacement lies along a curved path: particle moves from P1 to P2

Each d is a tangent to the path at its position.

F is the force at a point along the path, is the angle between F and d.

Small element of work W done on particle during displacement d :

dW F cos d F d F d
P2

P2

P2

P1

P1

P1

W F cos d F d

F d

(Work done on a curved path)

Power
Watts
Engine

Power man
Mr. Olympia

Power
Definition of work makes no reference to the passage of time

Power is the time rate at which work is done.

Average power:

Instantaneous power:

Pav

W
t
W dW
P lim

t 0 t
dt

Power is a scalar.

Power

The SI unit of power is watt (W), 1 W = 1 Joule per 1 second.

In the British system of units power is in ftlb/sec or in a larger unit called horsepower
(hp).

James Watt

In mechanics, power is expressed

in terms of force and velocity

W F S
S
Pav

F
F vav
t
t
t
W dW

Fv
t 0 t
dt

P lim

1736 1819
Watt's steam engines
Started with nothing,
died as a very wealthy
man

P F v
In terms of scalar product

Potential Energy and Energy

Conservation

Warm-Up: Power
Power climb

Runner with mass m runs up the stairs to the top of 443-m-tall Sears
Tower. To lift herself there in 15 minutes (900 s), what must be her
average power output in watts? Kilowatts? Horsepower?

Treat the runner as a particle of mass m.

Lets find first how much work she must do
against the gravity to lift herself at height h.

W 2.17 105 J
Pav

t
900 s

Another way: calculate average upward force and then

multiply by upward velocity
Upward force here is vertical, average vertical component of
velocity is (443m) / (900s) = 0.492 m/s

Pav F vav (mg )vav (50kg )(9.8 sm2 )(0.492 ms ) 241W

Gravitational Potential
Energy

If elevation for which the gravitational potential energy is chosen to be

zero has been selected then the expression for the gravitational
potential energy as a function of position y is given by

U grav mgy

Gravitational potential energy Ugrav is associated with the work done

by the gravitational force according to

Wgrav U1 U 2 (U 2 U1 ) U

Forces

Forces

Work done by the conservative force only depends on the initial

and final positions, and doesnt depend on the path

The work done by a conservative force

has these properties:

It can always be expressed as the difference

between the initial and final values of a
potential energy function: U = -W.

It is reversible.

It is independent of the path of the body and

depends only on the starting and ending points.

When the initial and final points are the same

(closed loop), the total work is zero.

All forces which do not satisfy these properties are non-conservative forces.

Kinetic energy has been stored in the

elastic deformation of the spring

Work is done on the rubber band by the

force that stretches it

That work is stored in the rubber band

until you let it go

You let it go, the rubber gives kinetic

energy to the projectile

Elastic body: if it returns to its original

shape and size after being deformed

Elastic Potential Energy

Equilibrium

Spring is stretched
It does negative work on block

Spring relaxes
It does positive work on block
Spring is compressed
Positive work on block

Block moves from one position x1 to another position x2: how

much work does the elastic (spring) force do on the block?

Work done ON a spring to move one end

from elongation x1 to a different elongation
x2

When we stretch the spring, we do

positive work on the spring

When we relax the spring, work done on

the spring is negative

1 2 1 2
W kx2 kx1
2
2

From N3L: quantities of work are

negatives of each other

We can express the work done BY the

spring in terms of a given quantity at the
beginning and end of the displacement

1 2 1 2
Wel kx1 kx2
2
2

1 2
kx
2

1 2
U kx
2

The graph of elastic potential energy

for ideal spring is a parabola

negative!

energy:

Wel U1 U 2 U
1 2 1 2
kx1 kx2
2
2

Elastic Potential Energy

1 2 1 2
Wel U1 U 2 U kx1 kx2
2
2

When a stretched spring is stretched greater, Wel is negative and

U increases: greater amount of elastic potential energy is stored
in the spring

When a stretched spring relaxes, x decreases, Wel is positive and

U decreases: spring loses its elastic potential energy

potential energy

Theorem

Work Energy Theorem: Wtot=K2-K1, no matter

what kind of forces are acting on the body. Thus:

Wtot Wel U 2 U1

Wtot U1 U 2 K 2 K1 K1 U1 K 2 U 2
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2
mv1 kx1 mv2 kx2
2
2
2
2

Total mechanical energy E (the sum of elastic potential energy

and kinetic energy) is conserved

So we can neglect springs mass in study of how the car

bounces on its suspension

does work

E K U

If forces other than elastic force also do

work on the body, the total work is

K1 U1 Wother K 2 U 2

Wtot Wel Wother K 2 K1

elastic force + other forces

1 2 1 2
1
1
mv1 kx1 Wother mv22 kx22
2
2
2
2

The work done by all forces other than the elastic force
equals the change in the total mechanical energy E of
the system, where U is the elastic potential energy:

System is made up of the body of mass m and the

spring of force constant k

E K U

Force and Potential Energy

We have studied in detail two specific conservative
forces, gravitational force and elastic force.
We have seen there is a definite relationship between a
conservative force and the corresponding potential
energy function.
The force on a mass in a uniform gravitational field is
Fy = - mg. The corresponding potential energy function
is U(y) = mgy.
The force exerted on a body by a spring of force
constant k is Fx = - kx. The corresponding potential
energy function is Us(x) = (1/2)kx2.

In some situations, you are given an expression for

potential energy as a function of position and have to
find corresponding force.

Force and Potential Energy

Consider motion along a straight line, with coordinate x
Fx(x) is the x-component of force as function of x
U(x) is the potential energy as function of x
Work done by conservative force equals the negative of the change
U in potential energy:

W U

For infinitesimal displacement x, the work done by force Fx(x) during

this displacement is ~ Fx(x)x (suppose that this interval is so small that
the force will vary just a little)

Fx ( x)x U

U
Fx ( x)
x

Fx ( x)

dU ( x)
dx

Force from potential

energy, one dimension

dU ( x)
Fx ( x)
dx

Force from potential

energy, one dimension

In regions where U(x) changes most rapidly with x (i.e. where dU(x)/dx is
large) the greatest amount of work is done during the displacement, and
it corresponds to a large force magnitude

energy function

The physical meaning: conservative force always acts to push the

system toward lower potential energy

Force and Potential Energy

Lets verify if this expression correctly gives the gravitational force and the elastic force
when using the gravitational potential energy and the elastic potential energy:

U ( y ) mgy

Fy ( x)

1
U ( x) kx 2
2

Fx ( x)

dU ( y )
d
mgy mg
dy
dy

dU ( x)
d 1

kx 2 kx
dx
dx 2

The gravitational potential energy is linearly related to the

elevation (i.e. constant slope) and the force is constant.
The elastic potential energy varies quadratically with position.
The force varies in a linearly.

Energy Diagrams

Energy Diagrams

In situations where a particle moves in

one-dimension only under influence of a
single conservative force it is very useful
to study the graph of the potential
energy as a function of position U(x)

At any point on a graph of U(x), the

force can be calculated as the negative
of the slope of the potential energy
function

Fx = - dU/dx

Potential energy function U(x)

Limits of the motion are the points
where U curve intersects the
horizontal line representing the total
mechanical energy E