Suppose an ideal spring is attached to a wall at one of its end. Let an external force act on the spring at another end to stretch the spring to distance $x$. If spring constant is $k$ then work done by external force will be $(1/2)kx^2$.
The above expression for work done by external force is arrived using integration. Let us roll back to definition of work done. Work is said to be done on an object if 1) force is applied on the object 2) displacement of object happens
My question is that in the above spring the displacement of spring (due to external force) as a whole has not taken place. Instead it is just "stretched". How can we say displacement of object(spring) happened and work is done.
The same criteria also applies to all elastic bodies. For example ● work done in compressing an ideal gas($PdV$ work) ● work done in extending a wire having young modulus Y( $(AYl^2)/(2L) $ )
I do not know what is the correct way to define displacement! Please help me in understanding it.