The product of the force on an object and the displacement the object undergoes along the direction of the force.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
848 views

I have a slight problem understanding the concept of “work”?

What I understand is that work is not the same as a car using gas or a crane lifting a car high up into the air. Let's use the crane as an example. And let me write out a few lines from the book. ...
4
votes
5answers
102 views

Does a magnetic field do work on a moving rod?

In a case such as this one, my textbook says that I might be tempted to think the magnetic force is doing work (against the moving rod). It then says this isnt the case because "charges move ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Paradox- Object thrown parallel to the ground will never fall down

Suppose an object is thrown parallel to the ground. The gravity acts downward (ie. perpendicular to the direction of motion of the object). The work done by gravity on that object will be given by : ...
3
votes
4answers
729 views

Is the work done walking up an escalator in the same speed and opposite direction of the escalator zero?

Work equals force times distance, but what about walking up an escalator in the same speed and opposite direction of the escalator? In the frame of the ground, the distance is zero so the work must ...
3
votes
4answers
357 views

Potential Energy Concept

Imagine a book that we lift it with a force that is exactly equal to the force of gravity so the forces cancel out and the book moves with a constant velocity. Consider the situation after the book ...
3
votes
4answers
520 views

Why can't the work done by a non-conservative force be zero?

Why can't the work done by a non-conservative force be zero? The displacement along a closed path is always zero. So, whatever be the type of force, variable or constant, the work has to be zero. Why ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why doesn't static friction decelerate a rolling body?

I know that static friction isn't the cause of deceleration of a rolling body. But if static friction is the only force in the horizontal direction, then shouldn't there be some acceleration produced ...
3
votes
7answers
3k views

Intuitively, how can the work done on an object be equal to zero?

To my understanding the work done on an object is defined mathematically as: $$W = \vec{F}\cdot\vec{S}=|\vec{F}||\vec{S}|cos\theta$$ This, I understand. My problem is that I don't understand that if ...
3
votes
1answer
388 views

Is my textbook teaching an incorrect concept of Work?

I fear my textbook is teaching an incorrect concept of Work. I am very frustrated right now since I was struggling to understand the concept in the way that was explained in the textbook and my ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How to understand the work-energy theorem?

How to understand the work-energy theorem? I took a short lecture on physics for engineering last week. The lecturer emphasized that the work done on an object will cause the kinetic energy change as ...
3
votes
2answers
449 views

Find work done by force along a path - is parameterization the only way?

$F = x^3y^4 \hat i + x^4y^3 \hat j$ from $(0,0)$ to $(1,1)$. I am given different paths. For example, "first along x axis and then along the y axis" is one of the paths. Is this problem solvable ...
3
votes
2answers
199 views

What is the mathematical definition of work?

I'm looking for the pure mathematical definition of work, but I haven't yet learned line integrals. My book says that the work due to a force ${\bf F}$ from point $A$ to point $B$ is $$ W= |AB|\cdot ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

The lab have a constant electric field and a constant magnetic field, what is the electric and magnetic field inside a conductor and far from it

The following is an old question from an exam in a Physics $2$ course I am taking, I have tried to solve the question and after I thought I got the answer I looked at the solution and saw it isn't ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can internal forces do work?

My Mechanics textbook claims that the sum of the work by internal forces is not generally zero. translated to English the paragraph reads: Notice about the work by internal forces: the work by ...
3
votes
5answers
615 views

A force is exerted on a body, kinetic energy increases but no work is done by the force. Why?

After reading the article, I was totally perplexed . I was reading the External forces and internal energy transfers in Principles of Physics by Resnick,Halliday,Walker. It goes like that An ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Work done by vibrating string

figure from http://webusers.physics.illinois.edu/~m-stone5/mma/notes/amaster.pdf The string has fixed ends, a mass per unit length of $\rho$, and is under tension $T$. This source claims that "the ...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

How to reconcile the two definitions of work? (mechanical and thermodynamical)

When studying classical mechanics, work is defined as: $W_M=\int F_{tot} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. However, for thermodynamics, work is defined as: $W_T=\int -F_{ext} \hspace{2 mm} dx$. I'm having trouble ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Area under a $pV$ diagram

What does the area under a Pressure volume diagram equal? I read in my textbook it equals 'external' work done, but why is this? First of all, what exactly is external work? Can you get it ...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

Factors on which Coefficient of restitution depend

What are the factors on which coefficient of restitution depend? What is the reason for more coefficient of restitution of two glass balls (0.95) than for two lead balls (0.20)?
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Could $\int (\ddot\phi + \mu\dot\phi^2)d\phi$ ever be negative? How to show it?

I am working on the following problem: Given a mass $m$ at rest at the base of an incline surface shaped like 1/12th of a circle with radius $R$. The mass is pulled up the incline by a rope that ...
3
votes
4answers
515 views

Definition of force, kinetic energy and momentum

I've edited the post. Q1 and Q4 are the important ones but I didn't delete Q2 and Q3 since some older answers would not make sense anymore. To begin with, the formula of the kinetic energy $T$ is ...
3
votes
3answers
819 views

Work done by Lorentz Force in case of motional emf

In the classical example of the slidewire generator where the rod slides on a U-shaped conductor in a magnetic field, we get a charge separation due to the Lorentz force. The way the induced emf is ...
3
votes
3answers
133 views

Line integral definition of work clarification

So I am kind of confused about the role of force when calculating work. Specifically, when defining work using a line integral. There is a paragraph in my calculus book that is really throwing me off ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

work done by tension

The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Consider the following arrangement: Calculate the work done by tension on 2kg block during its motion on circular track from point $A$ to ...
3
votes
1answer
265 views

Intuition behind Work

I have a doubt in understanding the intuition behind the concept of work. First of all, I think this isn't duplicate, I've searched on the site, and the closest thing I've found was this post which is ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

When work is performed solely by magnetism, is there an equivalent loss of energy from the magnetic field?

When two magnets are placed within appropriate proximity and released, the attractive force will perform work and bring them together. Work is performed overcoming friction. Can we measure a ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

How much work can a single grain of rice do? [on hold]

I found a website saying a grain of rice contains 1/10 kcal. I'm not a physicist and haven't done maths for a long time. But here's what I came up with: E = m * g * h One small calorie equals ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

How to calculate wasted energy

Suppose you are pulling a weight along a track at an angle (in the picture 45°). If the object is dislocated by a distance $D_{45}$ let's assume that the mechanical work done on/energy transmitted to ...
2
votes
6answers
668 views

Centripetal Force Acceleration

In uniform circular motion, acceleration is $\frac{v^2}{r}$ and time which it acts $\rightarrow 0$. So $\Delta v = 0$, but then why/how does direction change, when the acceleration should be ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Work Done to click a mouse?

Is there any good research done to find out the work done in clicking a mouse button. any link to that would be greatly appreciated. P.S. i am not too sure whether this question belongs here or ...
2
votes
1answer
730 views

What is the difference between $Q=\Delta U+W$ and $\Delta U=Q+W$?

Is $Q=\Delta U+W$ for when the the work is done from the system while $\Delta U=Q+W$ is for when the work is done by the system? Will anybody explain this to me, please? When do we use $Q=\Delta ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a mathematical derivation of potential energy that is *not* rooted in the conservation of energy?

For simplicity I'll consider only gravity, but in general this question only applies to conservative forces. As per my understanding, the way one gets to the equation for gravitational potential ...
2
votes
3answers
177 views

What is the work done against a force?

Suppose a particle travels a path $\gamma : I\subset \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}^3$ subject to a force $\mathbf{F}: \mathbb{R}^3\to T\mathbb{R}^3$, then we know that we define the work done by the force ...
2
votes
3answers
15k views

Why work is a scalar and not a vector?

Work (in physics) is a scalar but why? and why not a vector?
2
votes
4answers
131 views

Why work $W$ and heat $Q$ are different concepts?

I understand heat as the flow of energy (through radiation, convection or conduction) from one body to another. When I think about conduction (for example) I visualize particles that jiggle a lot ...
2
votes
4answers
310 views

Is work done by how much velocity is changed or how much displacement is done?

A sailboat is moving at a constant velocity. Is work being done by a net external force acting on the boat? The answer key is "No" according to the work energy theorem about work is done when ...
2
votes
3answers
114 views

How do I relate $ds$ to $dx$?

A block of mass $5\text{ kg}$ is kept on an inclined plane with angle of inclination $37°$, attached to a spring with spring constant $10\text{ N/m}$ kept at the base of the incline. The ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Mechanical work to required battery power

I have a very practical question where I've calculated the mechanical work needed by a simple mechanical system by solving the line integral $W = \int_C \ F \ dx$. However, since I have a black spot ...
2
votes
2answers
380 views

Entropy $dQ=TdS$ and Work $dW = -pdV$ conditions?

What are the conditions in order for the equations: Entropy $dQ = TdS$ and Work $dW = -p dV$ to work? I think for $dQ = T dS$, it must be a reversible process? But for $dW = -p dV$, shouldn't it ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Work done or not in this case?

I have a very simple question. A motorboat directed upstream is seen to be at rest from the bank of a river. Is the engine doing any work? Is it right to say that since it is not causing any ...
2
votes
2answers
971 views

Having trouble understanding the work energy principle intuitively

I'm having trouble understanding the work energy principle intuitively. This is what I'm solid on so far: If you have a ball rolling down a hill, it loses potential energy and gains kinetic energy. ...
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Is work done = change in KE, or change in mechanical energy?

Starting from $F = ma$ we get: $$ F=m\frac{dv}{dt} = m\frac{ds}{dt}\frac{dv}{ds} = mv\frac{dv}{ds} $$ which leads to the work done: $$ W = \int Fds = \int mvdv = m\frac{v^2}{2} - m\frac{u^2}{2} ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Is work is equal to $mv^2$ (without $\frac{1}{2}$)?

I was trying to come up with an equation for work that doesn't include time, because I don't know time. Here's what I did: $$ work = Fd = mad = m{v\over t}d = m{v\over\left({d\over v}\right)}d = ...
2
votes
2answers
631 views

Why do two equal-and-opposing forces each do work on a moving object but not on a stationary object?

Consider a point-mass $m$ having constant velocity but undergoing influence from two forces, $F_1$, $F_2$, having equal magnitude but opposite directions. Because the forces' magnitudes are equal, I ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Net work done on the body when we lift it and put it on the table is zero?

I'm little confused here. Work done on the body when we lift it and put it on the table is zero, because according to work energy theorem, change in kinetic energy of the body is zero. So, the net ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$?

What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$ ? As far as I understand, $W = -\Delta U = -(U_f - U_i) = U_i - U_f$. While $U_i$ is the initial potential energy (before applying the ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

The work-energy theorem

Well here's the question. From some previous excercises we know that from \begin{align} A&=\int F\;ds,\\ &=\int ma\;ds, &&(F=ma)\\ &=\int m \frac{dv}{dt}\;ds, ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Understanding relationship between work and energy

I've read over 10 books about work and energy, and I just simply can't understand it. First of all, they go ahead and randomly define that work is force times distance: $$W=F X \cos\theta$$ Okay, ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

The effect of windspeed on a car

I've worked problems in the past in trig class concerning the effect of wind on the speed of a plane and it's flight path and was wondering if a similar thing occurs with a car. First off, I'm ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the relationship between Force and Kinetic Energy?

I am an Middle-School (Grade 8) student, who is self-learning classical mechanics. I saw this equation from Classical Mechanics: $\vec F=m \vec a$, the following equation is pretty straight forward ...