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1 Introduction

1P3 Dynamics
8 lectures Hilary 2012 Mark Cannon
Tutorial sheets 1P3H/J mark.cannon@eng.ox.ac.uk
Course page www.eng.ox.ac.uk/conmrc/dyn
1 Introduction
A vital aspect of engineering design is the calculation of forces, and hence
material stresses. In many cases, for example bridges and buildings, the laws
of statics may be sufcient to calculate these forces. In more mechanically
oriented design, the forces due to the motion of components of machines or
structures may become far more signicant. To calculate these forces, we
need to understand the laws of dynamics.
In this course we consider kinematics, which is about space and move-
ment, and ways of describing the motion of a particle or a body. We also
consider dynamics, which is about the forces and moments that must be
applied to the particle or body in order to cause motion.
Fundamental to this course is Newtons second law. In fact, it is not too
much of an exaggeration to say that Newtons second law is about the only
thing you need to know to succeed in dynamics you just have to know it
well!
1.1 Books 2
1.1 Books
Favourites are
Meriam and Kraige Engineering Mechanics Volume 2 Dynamics 5th edi-
tion, SI version, Wiley, 2003.
Meriam Dynamics 2nd edition, SI version, Wiley, 1975.
Other possibilities are
Hibbeler Engineering Mechanics - Dynamics SI edition, Prentice Hall,
1997.
Bedford and Fowler Engineering Mechanics - Dynamics SI edition, Addison-
Wesley, 1996.
Soutas-Little and Inman Engineering Mechanics - Dynamics SI edition,
Prentice Hall, 1999.
Shames Engineering Mechanics.
Goodman and Warner Dynamics.
Housner and Hudson Dynamics.
Greenwood Principles of Dynamics.
Pytel and Kiusalaas Engineering Mechanics - Dynamics second edition,
Brooks-Cole, 1999 (imperial units).
1.2 Syllabus
The Course Handbook gives the following expanded syllabus:
Plane kinematics of particles: rectilinear and curvilinear motion in rectan-
gular, normal-tangential, and polar coordinates; relative motion (translating,
not rotating, axes).
Plane kinematics of rigid bodies: translation, rotation, and general plane
motion; relative motion; rotation about a xed axis.
3 Introduction
Dynamics of particles: Newtons second law; work, energy, power; im-
pulse and momentum (linear and angular); conservation of energy and mo-
mentum (linear and angular); impact; central-force motion.
Dynamics of rigid bodies: equations of motion for translation and xed-
axis rotation; moment of inertia; work and energy; impulse and momentum
(linear and angular). Simple variable mass problems (i.e. rockets).
Lectures
There are eight lectures. We begin by looking at force and momentum as
applied to particles, then go on to consider work, power and energy. Next
we consider circular motion of a particle, and also gravity, both of which are
applied to the analysis of satellite orbits. Finally we extend the work on parti-
cles to the case of rigid bodies under the action of steady or impulsive forces
and torques.
Example Sheets
There are two example sheets: 1P3H concentrates on the dynamics of par-
ticles, and 1P3J covers the dynamics of rigid bodies.
1.3 Learning Outcomes
After attending the lectures and doing the accompanying example sheets in
tutorials, you should be able to:
understand and use the denitions of velocity and acceleration
analyse straight-line motion of a particle with variable acceleration
use Newtons second law to analyse planar motion of a particle under
the action of a steady or impulsive force
understand the principle of conservation of momentum and its applica-
tion to particles
1.3 Learning Outcomes 4
analyse elastic and inelastic collisions between particles
understand the concepts of work, energy, and power
use the principle of conservation of energy to analyse the motion of par-
ticles
describe planar motion of a particle in rectangular, normal-tangential,
and polar coordinates
understand the concepts of moment and moment of momentum
analyse the motion of a particle orbiting under the action of a central
force
calculate the moment of inertia of a planar rigid body from rst principles
or from standard cases
nd the instantaneous centre of rotation of a rigid body
express general planar rigid body motion as the combination of rotation
and translation
determine the motion of a planar rigid body using the principles of con-
servation of angular momentum and conservation of energy, where ap-
propriate
analyse the translation and rotation of a planar rigid body under the ac-
tion of a steady or impulsive force or moment.
Lecture Notes
These lecture notes (and also the lecture slides) are provided as handouts
in lectures. Both the notes and slides are available on weblearn and on the
course web page: http://www.eng.ox.ac.uk/conmrc/dyn.
The lecture notes draw on material prepared in the past for this and re-
lated courses by previous lecturers, particularly Dr Colin Wood, Dr Peter
McFadden and Dr Yiannis Ventikos. Their contributions are gratefully ac-
knowledged.
Please send any comments or corrections to mark.cannon@eng.ox.ac.uk
5 CONTENTS
Contents
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 Syllabus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 Learning Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2 Force and Momentum 7
2.1 Force and Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2 Impulse and Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.3 Collisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2.4 Problems involving Continuous Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3 Work and Energy 22
3.1 Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.2 Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
3.3 Reconciliation with Thermodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
3.4 Examples of Work and Energy Conservation . . . . . . . . . . 31
3.5 Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3.6 Forces and Moments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4 Examples I 39
4.1 Problems Requiring Full Equations of Motion . . . . . . . . . . 39
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . 42
5 Circular and General Curvilinear Motion 49
5.1 Normal-tangential Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
CONTENTS 6
5.2 Polar Coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
5.3 Moment of Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
6 Gravity and Satellite Orbits 58
6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
6.2 Newtons Law of Gravitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
6.3 Potential Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.4 Moment of Momentum and Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.5 Calculations Without Full Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
6.6 Full Analysis of Satellite Orbits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
7 Rigid Bodies 72
7.1 Moment of Momentum of a Particle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
7.2 Moments of Momentum and Inertia of a Rigid Body . . . . . . . 74
7.3 Kinetic Energy of Body Rotating about Fixed Axis . . . . . . . . 77
7.4 Inertia Properties for Thin Flat Bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
7.5 Further Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
7.6 Combined rotation and translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
8 Examples II 87
8.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
8.2 Examples Using Moment of Momentum . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
8.3 Examples Using Conservation of Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
7 Force and Momentum
2 Force and Momentum
2.1 Force and Motion
2.1.1 Particles and Rigid Bodies
In dynamics, the term particle is used to describe any body which we decide
to treat as a discrete mass concentrated at a point. We do this when we wish
to consider the linear movement or translation of the body, but not its rota-
tion. Typical applications would be the analysis of the motion of a spacecraft
orbiting the earth, or the trajectory of a golf ball after it has been struck. Later
in this course, for problems where rotation matters as well as translation, we
shall consider rigid bodies with a dened mass distribution.
2.1.2 Motion in a Straight Line with Variable Acceleration
0 x Dx
P P
Figure 1: Particle moving in a straight line
The average velocity of a particle moving a distance x in time t is
dened V
av
= x/t . As t gets smaller, this quantity tends to the instan-
taneous velocity: V = lim
t 0
x/t . The instantaneous velocity V (and
similarly acceleration a) are therefore
V =
dx
dt
= x a =
dV
dt
= x (2.1)
The above equations can be integrated to give
V(t ) = V
0
+

t
0
a(t ) dt x(t ) = x
0
+

t
0
V(t ) dt
which allows V and x to be determined when a is known as a function of
2.1 Force and Motion 8
time. If the acceleration a is constant, this gives the familiar formulae:
V(t ) = V
0
+ at x(t ) = x
0
+ V
0
t +
1
2
at
2
.
The expression for acceleration in (2.1) could also be written another way:
a = x =
d x
dt
=
dx
dt
d x
dx
= x
d x
dx
= V
dV
dx
(2.2)
which can be integrated as follows:
V
dV
dx
=
d
dx

v
2
2

= a
1
2
V
2

1
2
V
2
0
=

x
x0
a(x) dx ,
and hence allows V to be determined if a is known as a function of x. If the
acceleration a is constant, then clearly this gives
1
2
V
2

1
2
V
2
0
= a(x x
0
)
which is the same as the familiar equation V
2
= V
2
0
+ 2as.
2.1.3 Newtons Second Law
For a particle, Newtons second law can be written as
force = rate of change of momentum
where
momentum = mass velocity
Expressing this in algebraic form, we write the vector equation
F =
d
dt
mV = m
dV
dt
+ V
dm
dt
(2.3)
We will see many examples where the mass is invariant in which case dm/dt =
0 and the familiar, simple form of Newtons second law emerges
F = m
dV
dt
or F = ma (2.4)
9 Force and Momentum
or in words
force = mass acceleration
We will also see some examples, such as rockets, where the mass changes,
and so the full form of Newtons second law must be used.
Note that these are vector statements. Force, velocity and momentum
are all vector quantities that have both magnitude and direction. When we
are only concerned with forces and motion in one direction, we can use the
corresponding scalar forms given by
F =
d
dt
mV = m
dV
dt
+ V
dm
dt
(2.5)
and
F = m
dV
dt
or F = ma (2.6)
2.1.4 Force Mass and Weight
If we drop an object, it accelerates downwards at g = 9.81 ms
2
, assuming
that we are at or near the earths surface. If we do not drop the object, we
must exert an upward force on it to oppose the downward force of gravity.
This force is the weight of the object and it is the weight that causes the
acceleration if it is dropped.
weight = mass gravitational acceleration
In the SI system the unit of force is the Newton. It is dened so that unit
force causes unit acceleration when it acts upon unit mass i.e. 1 Newton
acting on 1 kg produces 1 ms
2
acceleration. Using these units, the weight
of a 1 kg mass at or near the earths surface must be 9.81 Newtons. Thus
weight (Newtons) = mass (kg) 9.81 (ms
2
)
2.1 Force and Motion 10
2.1.5 Velocity and Speed
It is a useful convention to use the term velocity when referring to a vector
which has both speed and direction. The term speed then refers to the mag-
nitude only and is a scalar . In these notes, vectors will be represented in
bold upright font, and scalars in italic font e.g. V is velocity and V is speed.
Unfortunately, we do not have words in English to distinguish between vector
and scalar acceleration so we will have to deduce this from the context.
2.1.6 Example Motion in a Straight Line
Problem: A boat of mass 1500 kg is launched from a trolley on a sloping
ramp. The trolley is allowed to run down the ramp at 1 ms
1
until the boat is
just aoat. The trolley then stops and the boat continues to move at 1 ms
1
.
Once aoat, a crew member of mass 70 kg stops the boat by pulling steadily
on a rope with a force equal to 30% of his own weight, as shown in gure 2.
How long will the boat take to stop, and what length of rope must be allowed
to slip?
1 ms
-1
force
Figure 2: Launching a boat
Solution: We are interested here in motion and forces in one direction only for
a mass-invariant system, so we can use the scalar form of Newtons second
law, F = ma, as given in equation 2.6. Substituting the values above gives
70 9.81 0.3 = 1500 a
from which we can nd the acceleration
a =
dV
dt
= 0.137 ms
2
11 Force and Momentum
By separating the variables
dt =
dV
a
and integrating we get the time to stop the boat
t =
V
2
V
1
a
=
0 1
0.137
= 7.28 s
To nd the distance we write
a =
dV
dt
=
dV
dx
dx
dt
= V
dV
dx
We then separate the variables
V dV = a dx
and integrate
1
2
(V
2
2
V
2
1
) = a (x
2
x
1
)
Hence the distance to stop the boat is
s = x
2
x
1
=
1
2
0
2
1
2
0.137
= 3.64 m
2.1.7 Example Terminal Velocity in Free Fall
Problem: A free-fall parachutist has a mass m = 75 kg, and a frontal area
A = 0.8 m
2
. If the air density at 2000 mis = 1.007 kg m
3
(HLT page 68) and
the aerodynamic drag is given by D =
1
2
C
D
V
2
A where the drag coefcient
is C
D
= 1.2, nd the terminal speed V
t
. How far will the parachutist fall before
reaching 90 % of this terminal speed?
mg
D
Figure 3: Parachutist in free fall
2.2 Impulse and Momentum 12
Solution: Consider the free body diagram in gure 3. The only forces acting
are the weight force mg downwards and the aerodynamic drag D upwards.
Using Newtons second law

F = ma we get
mg
1
2
C
D
V
2
A = m
dV
dt
(2.7)
Terminal velocity V
t
occurs when dV/dt = 0 in equation 2.7 so
V
2
t
=
2mg
AC
D
=
2 75 9.81
1.007 0.8 1.2
which gives
V
t
= 39.01 ms
1
To calculate the variation of velocity V with distance, we re-write equation 2.7
recalling that a = V dV/dx:
V
dV
dx
=
AC
D
2m

2mg
AC
D
V
2

Recognising the terms which correspond to V


2
t
, we can write
V
dV
dx
=
g
V
2
t

V
2
t
V
2

Separating the variables and integrating between limits of V = 0 at x = 0 and


V = 0.9V
t
at x = s (i.e. after falling a distance s) gives
s 0 =
V
2
t
g

0.9Vt
0
V
V
2
t
V
2
dV =
V
2
t
2g
ln

V
2
t
(0.9V
t
)
2
V
2
t
0

= s = 77.58 ln

1
1 0.81

= 128.8 m
2.2 Impulse and Momentum
In the above example, the force acting on the body was constant and we
knew its value. In some instances, the force will vary with time during the
interaction with the body, and we may not always know in what way it varies,
nor its magnitude at any time. This is particularly true during impacts and
collisions. To deal with these problems, we use the concept of impulse, the
integral of the force on the body over the duration of the interaction, and
relate it to the change in the momentum of the body.
13 Force and Momentum
Given that
F = m
dV
dt
for a body of mass m, then

2
1
Fdt = m(V
2
V
1
)
The integral of force is called the impulse, and the product mV is called the
momentum. The verbal equivalent of this equation is
impulse = change of momentum
The convenience of this form is that it requires no details of the time-variation
of the force. An impulse can describe an impact involving a very large force
with a very short duration, as illustrated in gure 4. The shaded area under
the graph gives the magnitude of the impulse.
time
force
0
impulse = area under force-time graph
Figure 4: Impulse = area under force-time graph
2.2.1 Example Impulse with Unknown Force Variation
Problem: During a game of cricket, the batsman is accidentally struck by a
cricket ball of mass 0.15 kg travelling at 40 ms
1
. The ball is stopped by the
impact. Can you estimate the force exerted by the ball?
Solution: The duration of the impact is not known, nor do we know the vari-
ation of force during that brief instant, but the impulse is mV = 0.15 40
= 6.0 kg ms
1
. The shorter the time, the greater the force and the greater the
pain. The wicket keeper, catching a similar ball, will ex his arms to increase
the duration of the impact. The impulse on his hands is still the same, but by
increasing its duration he reduces the magnitude of the force.
2.2 Impulse and Momentum 14
2.2.2 Example Impulse with Constant Force
In the example in section 2.1.6, the time required to stop the boat could have
been found by considering impulse and momentum instead of the equation
of motion. In this case the force F is constant, so the form of the calculation
would then have been

2
1
Fdt = F

2
1
dt = F(t
2
t
1
) = m(V
2
V
1
)
giving
t = t
2
t
1
= m
V
2
V
1
F
= 1500
0 1
70 9.81 0.3
= 7.28 s
2.2.3 Example Impulse and Momentum as Vectors
Problem: A cannon of mass M is free to roll without friction on horizontal
ground. An explosive charge projects a ball of mass m at speed v relative to
the barrel, which is inclined upward at angle as shown in gure 5(a). At the
instant after the ball leaves the muzzle nd (a) the backward recoil speed u
of the gun (b) the absolute velocity components of the ball (c) the magnitude
and direction of any external impulse acting on the system.
q
v u cos -
v sin
v
u
u
(a) (b)
q
q
v
q
Figure 5: Components of velocity of cannon ball
Solution: Instead of using vector algebra, here we shall try using scalar equa-
tions in the x (horizontal) and y (vertical) directions. The relative velocity and
15 Force and Momentum
absolute velocity components for the ball and the recoil speed of the gun,
shown in gure 5(b), are related by
v
x
= v cos u (2.8)
v
y
= v sin (2.9)
(a) Considering the cannon and the ball together as a system, the horizontal
momentum is zero before and afterwards because there is no external im-
pulse on the system. The equal and opposite impulses between the cannon
and the ball are internal to the system, not external.
0 = m(v cos u) Mu
giving
u =
mv cos
M + m
(b) Substituting for u in equation 2.8 gives
v
x
= v cos
mv cos
M + m
= v cos
M
M + m
while from equation 2.9
v
y
= v sin
(c) The external impulse can only come from the ground and the ground
reaction can only be vertical because we are told the cannon can roll freely.
The impulse Q
y
is equal to the change of upward momentum of the entire
system, in this case of the ball alone, given by
Q
y
= mv sin
2.2.4 Example Rowing on a Sliding Seat
Problem: Between strokes, the crew of a boat slide a distance d towards
the stern of the boat. If the crew mass is m and the boat mass is M, what
happens to the boat?
Solution: Assume that the crew slides distance d at a constant speed during
a time t . Between strokes, the oars are out of the water, so there is no
2.3 Collisions 16
x
G
d Dx
x
t
(a) (b)
Figure 6: Rowing on a sliding seat
external impulse. Hence the velocity of the combined mass centre of boat
plus crew, shown at G in gure 6(a), is unchanged. Relative to this point, the
boat moves forward x at a speed x/t and the crew moves back d x
at a speed (d x)/t . The changes in the momentum of the crew and the
boat must be equal and opposite, hence
M
x
t
= m
d x
t
That is, the boat surges forward between strokes as illustrated in gure 6(b)
by an amount
x =
md
M + m
2.3 Collisions
2.3.1 Coefcient of Restitution
v
v v v
n1
n2 t1 t2
frictionless surface
before after
Figure 7: Coefcient of restitution
When a particle rebounds from a xed frictionless surface as illustrated in
gure 7, the velocity component parallel to the surface is unchanged. The
direction of the normal component is reversed and the speed may also be
17 Force and Momentum
reduced by a factor e, called the coefcient of restitution. Hence the initial
and nal components of velocity tangential (t) and normal (n) to the surface
are related by
v
t 2
= v
t1
v
n2
= e v
n1
What are the limiting values of e? A collision is said to be perfectly elastic
if e = 1 and the collision is inelastic if e = 0. After an inelastic collision, the
two bodies remain attached.
2.3.2 Example Impulse during Frictionless Rebound from a Wall
v
v
v
eu
u
before after at impact
wall
Q
Figure 8: Frictionless rebound from a wall
In gure 8, the impulse Q on the particle, to the right, equals the increase
in the momentum of the particle, to the right.
Q = meu (mu) = mu(1 + e)
The impulse on the wall by the particle is also Q, but it is to the left. Notice
that v is unchanged.
2.3.3 Example Oblique Impact between Two Particles
When the collision is between two moving bodies, as illustrated in gure 9,
the coefcient of restitution applies to components of the relative motion nor-
mal to the surfaces at the point and instant of impact. For simplicity we regard
particles as spheres so that the surface-normal is the line of centres. We as-
sume no friction in this example.
2.3 Collisions 18
v
v
v
v
u
u
u
u
A1
A1
A2
A2
B1
B1 B2
B2
A
B
A
B
before after
Figure 9: Oblique impact between two particles
Normal to the line of centres, there is no friction, so there is no impulse on
either particle.
v
A2
= v
A1
and v
B2
= v
B1
Parallel to the line of centres, the impulse Q
AB
by A on B to the right is
equal to the increase in momentum of B to the right.
Q
AB
= m
B
(u
B2
u
B1
) (2.10)
Similarly the impulse Q
BA
by B on A to the right is equal to the increase in
momentum of A to the right.
Q
BA
= m
A
(u
A2
u
A1
) (2.11)
Taking the two particles together, there is no external impulse. Hence
0 = Q
AB
+ Q
BA
(2.12)
Substituting equations 2.10 and 2.11 into equation 2.12 gives
0 = m
A
(u
A2
u
A1
) + m
B
(u
B2
u
B1
)
or
m
A
u
A1
+ m
B
u
B1
= m
A
u
A2
+ m
B
u
B2
(2.13)
This conrms that the total momentum (both particles) is unchanged by the
impact. We might have written this down as obvious. In addition, the relative
velocity is reversed and reduced by the coefcient of restitution.
(u
A2
u
B2
) = e (u
A1
u
B1
) (2.14)
Equations 2.13 and 2.14 are sufcient to determine u
A2
and u
B2
if u
A1
and
u
B1
are known.
19 Force and Momentum
2.4 Problems involving Continuous Flow
So far, we have considered momentum and impact problems only for discrete
bodies. We now consider open systems involving continuous ows of mass.
2.4.1 Example Conservation of Momentum for a Rocket
Problem: A rocket of initial loaded mass M expels combustion products as a
steady propulsive jet at a rate m as shown in gure 10. The jet speed is V
relative to the rocket. Find the speed v of the rocket as a function of time t .
v v V -
v +
dv
dt
__
dt
M mt -
.
M mt m t - - d
. .
m t d
.
before after
Figure 10: Rocket
Solution: Consider an innitesimal time interval dt , during which a mass mdt
is expelled. There is no external force (this rocket is either in space or ying
horizontally!) so the total momentum of the system, consisting of rocket plus
expelled mass, is conserved.
(M mt )v = (M mt mdt )

v +
dv
dt
dt

+ mdt (v V)
Simplifying yields
(M mt mdt )
dv
dt
= mV
or in the limit dt 0
(M mt )
dv
dt
= mV (2.15)
Note this is in the form
current mass acceleration = thrust of jet
where
thrust of jet = mass ow rate ejection speed
Now separate the variables in equation 2.15 to get
dv = mV
dt
M mt
2.4 Problems involving Continuous Flow 20
for which the indenite integral is
v = V ln (M mt ) + C
If v = 0 when t = 0, then
v = V ln

M
M mt

2.4.2 Extension of Momentum Theorem to Open System Flow


In the example in section 2.4.1 we developed and used the momentum ux
theorem
force = rate of ux of momentum
We must now reconcile this with the formal statement of the momentum the-
orem from section 2.2 which was

2
1
Fdt = mV
2
mV
1
V V
system
1 2
Figure 11: Open system ow
If we consider the special case of steady ow as shown in gure 11, where
the velocity of the ow at any point does not change with time, then V
1
and
V
2
are constants. If we differentiate with respect to t , we get
F = m(V
2
V
1
)
That is, the applied force equals the mass ow rate multiplied by the change
in the velocity.
2.4.3 Thrust of a Jet Engine
We now apply this to a jet engine where the steady mass ow rate is m and
there is ux of momentum both in and out of the system as shown in gure
21 Force and Momentum
V V
j
compressor turbine
combustor
intake exhaust
Figure 12: Thrust of a jet engine
12. The thrust F is related to the intake velocity V and the exhaust velocity
V
j
by
F = mV
j
mV = m(V
j
V)
Note that we have calculated here the thrust, acting to the right, on the air
to change its velocity from V to V
j
. The corresponding reaction of the air is
a thrust on the engine, of equal magnitude but opposite direction, to the left,
propelling the engine forward.
22
3 Work and Energy
3.1 Work
3.1.1 Denition
A qualitative denition of work sometimes used in thermodynamics is work
is that which is equivalent to the raising of a weight. You have probably
used the quantitative denition that the work is the magnitude of the force
multiplied by the distance moved in the direction of the force. A more specic
denition describes work as the scalar product, or dot product, of the force
vector F and a displacement vector s, as shown in gure 13, which describes
the movement of the point of action of the force.
F
s
Figure 13: Force and displacement vectors
In practice, the magnitude and direction of the force may change as it
moves. To cope with this situation, we consider only a small movement ds
during which the force F remains constant. The work is then
dW = F ds
If we write the components of F and ds in Cartesian co-ordinates, we get
F =

F
x
F
y
F
z

ds =

dx
dy
dz

By the scalar multiplication rule (HLT page 17) this becomes


F ds = F
x
dx + F
y
dy + F
z
dz
You can see that the work done is the sum of the components of the force
multiplied by the distance each of those components has moved. This is a
23 Work and Energy
differential statement for innitesimal movements. Before work can be eval-
uated as an integral, we need to know how F varies with s. (Recall that a
moment is also force distance but is a vector product.)
3.1.2 Example Carrying a Weight Horizontally
The force F required to support a body in equilibrium against gravity is ver-
tically upwards and has magnitude equal to the weight mg. However, if the
movement s is horizontal as in gure 14, then the scalar product is zero so
no work is done.
F
s
mg
Figure 14: Carrying a weight horizontally: W = F s = 0
3.1.3 Example Carrying a Weight with a Change in Height
If a mass m is carried slowly and in equilibrium from location (x
1
, y
1
, z
1
) to
(x
2
, y
2
, z
2
) as shown in gure 15, then work is done against gravity.
x
y
z
1
2
F
mg
Figure 15: Carrying a weight with a change in height
3.1 Work 24
For a small displacement ds, the relevant vectors are
F =

0
0
mg

ds =

dx
dy
dz

By the scalar multiplication rule (HLT page 17)


dW = F ds = 0 + 0 + mg dz
W =

2
1
mg dz = mg(z
2
z
1
)
Hence the work done is represented by the area under a graph of the force
against the z co-ordinate as in gure 16.
z z
F
F mg =
1 2
area = work done
Figure 16: Work done carrying a weight with a change in height
3.1.4 Example Work against Friction
Problem: A man drags a mass m steadily along the ground using a rope over
his shoulder and inclined at an angle from the horizontal as shown in gure
17. If the coefcient of friction between the object and the ground is , nd
the work required to move the object a distance s.
Solution: This work generates heat at the contact surface. It may raise the
internal energy of the body or the ground but for the purposes of mechanics
it is a loss.
Vertical equilibrium
N + F sin = mg
Horizontal equilibrium
F cos = N
25 Work and Energy
m
F
N
mN
a
mg
s
Figure 17: Dragging a mass
Work
W = Fs cos
Eliminating the rope tension F and the ground reaction N gives
W =
mgs
1 + tan
3.1.5 Example Work in Extending a Spring
A spring of stiffness k is extended from its original length x
0
to a nal length
x
1
. The spring force F at a length x is given by
F = k(x x
0
)
The work dW done to extend the spring by an innitesimal amount dx is
dW = F dx
and so the work done to extend the spring will be the integral of dW given by
W =

F dx
Thus
W =

1
0
k(x x
0
) dx =
1
2
k(x
1
x
0
)
2
=
1
2
k(x
1
x
0
)(x
1
x
0
)
=
1
2
nal tension extension
This work can be represented graphically by the shaded area under the force-
extension curve in gure 18.
3.1 Work 26
F
x x
0 1
F = k x x ( ) -
1 0
area = work done
Figure 18: Force-extension graph for a spring
3.1.6 Work in Rotating a Shaft
Simple Illustration
Consider the simple case in which the force F acting on the rigid arm OA in
gure 19 is perpendicular to OA. The force moves as arm OA rotates through
an angle d. The moment M of F about the origin O is
M = RF
which is anti-clockwise, or parallel to the shaft out of the page. For innitesi-
mal d, the distance moved by A is
ds = R d
which is parallel to F. Work is dened as
dW = F ds
hence
dW = RF d = M d
A
F
R
0
q
Figure 19: Work rotating a shaft
27 Work and Energy
General Proof in Vector Notation
Now consider the more general case of an arm OA, of xed length R, which
undergoes a small angular displacement d about the origin O. A force F is
applied to the arm at A. The moment about O is
M = R F
See section 3.6 for an explanation if necessary. The displacement of A is
ds = d R
The work done by F is
dW = F ds = F (d R)
It may be shown that for any three vectors a, b and c
a (b c) = b (c a)
hence
F (d R) = d (R F) = d M
Thus
dW = M d
which in words is
work = moment rotation
When discussing the rotation of machine shafts, the term torque (related to
torsion or twisting) is often used instead of moment .
3.2 Energy
Energy may be stored in a mechanical system. It is stored by doing work
on the system and may be recovered causing the system to do work on the
surroundings. In the terminology of mechanics, losses dissipate mechanical
energy and either raise the temperature of the system (conversion to internal
energy) or generate heat output, as mentioned in section 3.4. These losses
are invariably due to friction. If there are no frictional losses, the system is
3.2 Energy 28
described as conservative meaning that mechanical energy is conserved.
Remember too that energy can be dissipated in collisions which are not per-
fectly elastic.
3.2.1 Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy T is energy stored by virtue of the velocity of a system. It is
dened by
T =
1
2
mass speed
2
=
1
2
mV
2
for a particle of mass m moving with velocity V. Here we note that
V
2
= V V
Proof that Work = Change of Kinetic Energy
r
F
m
0
Figure 20: Force acting on a particle
Consider a variable vector force F acting on a particle of mass m at a
variable vector position r as shown in gure 20. Newtons second law states
that
F = m r
The work W done by F on m moving from position 1 to position 2 is given by
W =

2
1
F dr = m

2
1
r dr
But
dr =
dr
dt
dt = r dt
29 Work and Energy
so that
W = m

2
1
r r dt
Spot that
r r =
1
2
d r
2
dt
so
W =
1
2
m

2
1
d r
2
dt
dt =
1
2
m( r
2
2
r
2
1
)
hence
W = T
2
T
1
3.2.2 Example Launching a Boat
In the example in section 2.1.6 on launching the boat, the distance to stop
could have been found by equating the loss in kinetic energy of the boat to
the work done by the boat in pulling away the arresting rope. Then
Fs =
1
2
m(V
2
1
V
2
2
)
That is
70 9.81 0.3 s =
1
2
1500 (1
2
0
2
)
giving
s = 3.64 m
which agrees with the previous result.
3.2.3 Potential Energy
Potential energy U is energy stored by virtue of the position or shape of
a system. In a conservative system, where mechanical energy is not lost
through friction, this energy may be recovered as work, done by the system
on the surroundings. The increase in potential energy equals the work done
on the system to change its shape or position.
3.2 Energy 30
Potential Energy of a Raised Weight
A mass m is raised from height z
1
to height z
2
. The gravitational acceleration
g is constant. In section 3.1.3 we calculated the work done as
W =

2
1
F dz = mg (z
2
z
1
)
hence
U
2
U
1
= mg (z
2
z
1
)
Potential (or Strain) Energy in a Stretched Spring
A spring of stiffness k and unstretched length L
0
is stretched to length L
1
.
The work in the example in section 3.1.5 on stretching a spring was
W =
1
2
k (L
1
L
0
)
2
and as there is no stored energy when the spring is unstretched, U
0
= 0
giving
U
1
=
1
2
k (L
1
L
0
)
2
3.2.4 Example Gravitational Potential Energy
Problem: At the surface of the earth (radius R) the acceleration due to gravity
is g. Elsewhere it is inversely proportional to the square of the radius r from
the centre of the earth, so that the weight of a body of mass m at radius r is
mg(R/r )
2
. Find the potential energy U at radius r if U = 0 when r = .
Solution:
U(r ) =

mg

R
r

2
dr
= mgR
2

1
r
2
dr
=
mgR
2
r
+ C
When r = , then U = 0 so C = 0.
31 Work and Energy
3.3 Reconciliation with Thermodynamics
3.3.1 Work Heat and Energy in Thermodynamics
For a xed quantity of matter (that is, a closed system), the rst law of ther-
modynamics can be written as
heat input work output = increase in (internal energy + mechanical energy)
although we usually assume the mechanical energy term to be small for a
closed system. Heat is transferred to or from a system, but is not a property
of the system. Similarly work is done by one system on another, but it is not
a property of the system. In contrast, internal energy is a property and it is
increased whenever there is a net input of work and/or heat.
3.3.2 Modication for Dynamics
In mechanics we do not consider problems involving heat input. If friction in
a mechanical process causes heat output , or increases the internal energy,
this is regarded as a loss of mechanical energy. If we reverse the direc-
tion convention for heat and work transfer, we may rearrange the rst law of
thermodynamics into the form
work input = increase in mechanical energy + losses
losses = heat output + increase in internal energy
3.4 Examples of Work and Energy Conservation
The practical importance of being able to store energy is that we can do work
when we feel like it and use the stored energy when we need it. Here are
some situations where this is important.
Bending a longbow or crossbow, compressing the spring on an air gun,
stretching the elastic on a catapult, or raising the weight on a trebuchet.
Each stores potential (or strain) energy by laborious work, in order to
release it rapidly as kinetic energy to launch a projectile.
3.4 Examples of Work and Energy Conservation 32
A ywheel on an internal combustion engine returns energy as work, to
compress the next charge of gas.
When consumer demand is low, unwanted electrical power is used to
pump water up to a high level reservoir. The water is returned through
turbines to provide additional power when demand is high.
Driving a nail with a hammer. Stored kinetic energy in the hammer pro-
vides momentum for a large impulse. Energy is lost in the impact. The
nail and the wood become hot and there is acoustic energy (noise).
In vibration, kinetic energy and potential energy are repeatedly exchanged.
A moving car is stopped by the brakes. Kinetic energy is lost. The brakes
become hot.
3.4.1 Example Mass on a Slope
Problem: A mass m slides down a frictionless surface of slope as shown in
gure 21. Find the speed V after the mass has descended through a vertical
distance h.
mg
V
s
m
q
z
N
Figure 21: Mass sliding down a slope
Solution: First, lets try a solution using equations of motion. Newtons sec-
ond law gives
mg sin = ma = mV
dV
ds
where
ds =
dz
sin
Eliminate ds, and separate variables V and z to give
g dz = V dV
33 Work and Energy
Integrate from z = 0 to z = h to give
V
2
= 2gh
Alternatively, we can get a simpler solution using energy. Since there are
no losses, the sum of the kinetic and the potential energy remains constant.
Hence
1
2
mV
2
= mgh
and so as before
V
2
= 2gh
3.4.2 Example Riding a Bicycle up a Hill
Problem: A cyclist of mass M rides a bicycle of mass m up a hill. The gearing
is such that the machine moves a distance D along the road while the pedals
rotate 180
o
. The diameter of the pedal crank is d and the cyclist rests his
full weight on the down-going pedal throughout the rotation from the highest
to the lowest position. Find the steepest slope that he can climb at a steady
speed.
q
D
d
Figure 22: Riding a bicycle up a hill
Solution: During one downward stroke of the pedal, the total energy remains
constant. Also the speed is steady, so there is no variation in kinetic energy.
Thus the potential energy of rider plus bicycle does not change as the pedal
rotates from top to bottom. The mass M of the rider falls by d Dsin as the
mass m of the bicycle moves Dsin upwards, as seen in gure 22. Hence
Mg(d Dsin) = mgDsin
giving
sin =
Md
(M + m)D
3.5 Power 34
Comment: Notice that if m M the solution approaches sin = d/D and the
rider is at the same height at the end of the pedal stroke as at the beginning.
The work is done only as the rider steps up a distance d on to the next pedal.
Question: Why ride a bicycle up a hill when you could walk up the steps?
3.5 Power
Power is the rate of doing work. Note that power, like work, is a scalar .
The units are Joules second
1
= Watts. For linear motion the work dW done
moving a force F a distance ds is
dW = F ds
hence the rate of doing work is
dW
dt
= F
ds
dt
or
P = F V
or in words
power = force velocity
For a rotating shaft, the work dW done turning a torque M an angle d is
dW = M d
and so the rate of doing work is
dW
dt
= M
d
dt
= M
or
P = M
or in words
power = torque angular velocity
35 Work and Energy
3.5.1 Example Acceleration of a Car
Problem: The engine of a car develops 100 bhp (brake horsepower) at 5000
rpm(revolutions per minute) and the power varies in direct proportion with the
speed. The engine drives the road wheels through a gearbox which reduces
the angular velocity by a factor of 7. The road wheels have radius 0.3 m.
If there are no losses due to friction or air resistance, nd the time required
for the car to accelerate from 30 mph to 50 mph. Check that the engine can
do this without exceeding 5000 rpm. (This example is designed to illustrate
numerical working in non-standard but frequently occurring units.)
Solution: See HLT page 3 for the conversion factors 1 bhp = 746 W, 1 mile
= 5280 ft, 1 ft = 0.3048 m. First determine the road thrust F from the given
data. Maximum engine speed

max
=
5000 2
60
= 523.60 rads
1
Power at engine speed
P = 100 746

523.60
= 142.48 W
Engine torque
M
e
=
P

= 142.48 Nm
Wheel torque
M
w
= 142.48 7 = 997.33 Nm
Road thrust
F =
M
w
r
w
=
997.33
0.3
= 3324.43 N
Acceleration
a =
F
m
=
3324.43
1500
= 2.216 ms
2
Road speed
V
30
= 30 mph =
30 5280 0.3048
3600
= 13.41 ms
1
V
50
= 50 mph = 22.35 ms
1
Engine speed at 50 mph

50
=
22.35
0.3
7
60
2
= 4980.4 rpm < 5000 rpm hence okay
3.6 Forces and Moments 36
Time taken
t =
V
50
V
30
a
=
22.35 13.41
2.216
= 4.03 s
3.6 Forces and Moments
3.6.1 Simple Examples
A force F at right angles to a moment arm R as shown in gure 23(a), pro-
duces a moment M where
M = RF
If the force F is not at right angles to R, but is inclined at an angle as shown
in 23(b), then the moment is reduced and becomes
M = RF cos
This moment is right-handed about an axis facing out of the paper. It may
be regarded as a vector M with the magnitude shown and with a direction
dened by the right-handed axis direction dened above.
F
R
M F
R
M
a
(a) (b)
Figure 23: Simple forces and moments
A moment about the axis of spin of a shaft is often called a torque. The
word is associated with torsion.
3.6.2 Right-Hand Axes Sign Convention
Stretch the thumb and rst two ngers of the right hand in perpendicular
directions as shown in gure 24. We can remember the axis orientation as
axis 1 (or x) = rst nger
axis 2 (or y) = second nger
axis 3 (or z) = thumb
37 Work and Energy
z
x
y
+ve
+ve
+ve
thumb
first finger
second finger
Figure 24: Right-hand axes sign convention
Positive angular directions are clockwise facing away from the origin. There-
fore positive rotations about any axis always encounter the other pair of axes
in ascending sequence x y, y z, z x.
3.6.3 General Vector Denition
z
x
y
F
F
F
R
R
R
y
x
z
z
x
y
M
M
M
x
y
z
0
Figure 25: General vector denition
By inspection of gure 25, the moment components about the origin are

M
x
M
y
M
z

R
z
F
y
+ R
y
F
z
R
z
F
x
R
x
F
z
R
y
F
x
+ R
x
F
y

The right-hand side may be replaced by an equivalent matrix multiplication


3.6 Forces and Moments 38
operation so that

M
x
M
y
M
z

0 R
z
R
y
R
z
0 R
x
R
y
R
x
0

F
x
F
y
F
z

The right-hand side is now recognised (HLT page 19) as the matrix represen-
tation of a vector cross product, so we may use the vector product notation
to dene a moment by
M = R F
39 Examples I
4 Examples I
4.1 Problems Requiring Full Equations of Motion
4.1.1 Example Two-dimensional motion with constant acceleration
Problem: A ball is thrown from point A to land at point B, a horizontal distance
d m and vertical distance h from A, as shown in gure 26. Find suitable
values of initial speed V
0
and angle (ignore air-resistance).
x
y
A
B
h
d
V
0
a
Figure 26: Ball throwing problem
Solution: The ball can be treated as a particle, which, in the xed (x, y)
coordinate system, has position r = xi +yj. Differentiating r twice with respect
to time gives the acceleration vector: a = xi + yj. But the only acceleration is
due to gravity, so x = 0, y = g. Therefore, integrating (twice) with respect
to time, we get
x = V
0
cos t y = V
0
sint gt
2
Eliminating t from the above pair of equations leads to
y = x tan
1
2
g

x
V
0
cos

2
We nd trajectories passing through B by setting x = d, y = h:
h = d tan
gd
2
V
2
0
cos
2

Using trigonometry this can be expressed


h
d
+ tan
1
2
(1 + tan
2
)
gd
2
V
2
0
= 0
4.1 Problems Requiring Full Equations of Motion 40
The values of and V
0
/

gd can be found for any given value of h/d (gure


27).
!60 !30 0 30 60 90
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
! (degrees)
V
0

/

(
g
d
)
1
/
2


h/d = 2
h/d = 0.5
h/d = 0
Figure 27: V
0
/

gd versus for several values of h/d


Note from the graph that, for some values of V
0
and d, there are two
solutions for , a high and a low value. In this case for the initial velocity and
target position, there are two trajectories available (gure 28).
A
B
Figure 28: Two solutions to the ball throwing problem
4.1.2 Example Rocket Sled with Friction and Air Drag
Problem: A rocket-driven ground vehicle has an initial mass of 500 kg of
which 80 % is fuel. The motor produces 5 kg s
1
of propellant at a velocity
41 Examples I
410 ms
1
. Resistance to motion is 50 + 0.05V
2
N. Calculate the variation of
velocity V during the burn.
Solution: We can adapt equation 2.15 from section 2.4.1 to get the equation
of motion
mV
j
(F + kV
2
) = (M mt )
dV
dt
Separating the variables V and t , we nd
dV
mV
j
(F + kV
2
)
=
dt
M mt
(4.1)
The solution is most convenient if we recognise that the terminal velocity V
t
is that velocity at which the resistance equals the rocket thrust, so
mV
j
= F + kV
2
t
giving
V
2
t
=
mV
j
F
k
(4.2)
Also dene t
0
to be the total burn time if M were entirely fuel, given by
t
0
=
M
m
(4.3)
Substituting equations 4.2 and 4.3 into equation 4.1 and integrating both
sides then leads to
m
k

dV
V
2
t
V
2
=

dt
t
0
t
Both integrals are listed in HLT. Making use of these results, we write
m
2kV
t
ln

V
t
+ V
V
t
V

= ln(t
0
t ) + C
If V = 0 when t = 0, then C = ln(t
0
). Thus nally
R =
V
t
+ V
V
t
V
=

1
t
t
0

2kV
t
/ m
and
V = V
t
R 1
R + 1
Numerical values are m = 5 kg s
1
, M = 500 kg, V
j
= 410 ms
1
, F = 50
N, k = 0.05 Ns
2
m
2
, t
0
= 500/5 = 100 s, V
t
=

(5 410 500)/0.05 = 200
ms
1
, 2kV
t
/m = 20.05200/5 = 4. The actual burn time = 80 % t
0
= 80
s. Figure 29 shows the variation of V with t .
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum 42
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
0
50
100
150
200
time (s)
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

(
m
/
s
)
Figure 29: Rocket sled
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum
4.2.1 Example Bungee Jump
The Clifton suspension bridge spans the river Avon in Bristol at a height of
75 m above water-level. It is a favourite spot for suicides and the location at
which the bungee jump was (re-)invented by the Oxford Dangerous Sports
Club on April 1, 1979. (In fact the idea is much older: traditional land diving
has taken place on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, for centuries and was lmed
by the BBC in 1950.)
Problem: A person of mass 75 kg plans a jump in which an elastic cord tied
to the bridge will check her fall exactly at water level. Three types of elastic
cord are available (a) stiffness 1200 N per unit strain and maximum strain 2.0
(b) stiffness 2000 N per unit strain and maximum strain 1.2 (c) stiffness 3000
N per unit strain and maximum strain 1.0. Which cord should she choose and
what length should she buy? (Ignore air resistance. Unit strain is extension
equal to unstretched length.)
Solution: If the stiffness per unit strain is K N, then a force of K N will stretch
a length L m of cord by a further L m. To stretch a cord of length L m by
only 1 m requires K/L N. Hence the stiffness k Nm
1
of the whole cord is
k = K/L.
43 Examples I
At the jump level there is no kinetic energy, and at river level, the kinetic
energy is zero also. All of the gravitational potential energy is exchanged for
strain energy in the cord. Hence
1
2
K
L
(H L)
2
= mgH
which can be rearranged to give

H
L

2
2

1 +
mg
K

H
L

+ 1 = 0
and we can use the larger root of this quadratic to get
H
L
=

1 +
mg
K

1 +
mg
K

2
1
The strain e will be the change in length over the original length e = (HL)/L.
Table 1 shows that cord a (26 m) would be acceptable. Cord c (38 m) is
borderline. Cord b would break!
Table 1: Bungee jumping
quantity cord a cord b cord c units
m 75 75 75 kg
g 9.81 9.81 9.81 ms
2
K 1200 2000 3000 N
H 75 75 75 m
1 + mg/K 1.613 1.368 1.245
H/L 2.88 2.30 1.99
L 26.1 32.6 37.7 m
e 1.88 1.30 0.99
e
max
2 1.2 1.0
result PASS FAIL PASS
4.2.2 Example Aircraft Water Scoop
Problem: An aircraft used for re-ghting is equipped with a scoop so that
the pilot can ll a water tank by ying low and extending the scoop into a lake
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum 44
or river as in gure 30. If the water collected is a fraction of the initial mass
m of the aircraft, nd the loss of ying speed assuming that the engine thrust
remains in equilibrium with the aerodynamic drag.
m
V
1
Figure 30: Aircraft water scoop
Solution: This is a collision with no rebound (e = 0), and the water collected
has no initial velocity. Thus
mV
1
+ m0 = m(1 + )V
2
so that the ratio of nal to initial speed is
V
2
V
1
=
1
1 +
4.2.3 Example Pile Driver
Problem: A pile driver drops a mass of 800 kg from a height of 2 m to strike
the top of a 2400 kg pile. After impact, the mass rebounds to a height of
0.1 m as shown in gure 31. Find the downward velocity of the pile after
the impact, the dissipation of energy in noise and heat, and the coefcient of
restitution.
Solution: The potential energy of the striker on release equals the kinetic
energy of the striker just before impact so
800 9.81 2 =
1
2
800 v
2
1
v
1
= 6.264 ms
1
The kinetic energy of the striker just after impact equals the potential energy
at the maximum rebound height hence
800 9.81 0.1 =
1
2
800 v
2
2
45 Examples I
800 kg
2 m
pile
0.1 m
before release at rebound
Figure 31: Pile driver
v
2
= 1.401 ms
1
(upwards)
Downward momentum is conserved during the impact giving
800 6.264 + 2400 0 = 800 (1.401) + 2400 v
p
v
p
= 2.555 ms
1
Hence the loss of energy during impact is
E
1
E
2
=
1
2
8006.264
2
(
1
2
8001.401
2
+
1
2
24002.555
2
) = 7078 J
and the coefcient of restitution is
e =

nal relative velocity


initial relative velocity

=
2.555 (1.401)
6.264
= 0.632
4.2.4 Example Ball on Stairs
Problem: A ball bounces down a uniform ight of stairs, rising after each
bounce to the level of the previous stair as illustrated in gure 32. Find the
coefcient of restitution.
Solution: At each bounce, the vertical component changes from v
1
down-
wards to v
2
upwards where
v
2
= ev
1
(4.4)
If the step height is h and the constant horizontal velocity component is u,
then by conservation of energy between point A at height z
A
= h and point B
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum 46
A
B
C
h
z
Figure 32: Ball bouncing downstairs
at z
B
= 2h we get
1
2
m(v
2
2
+ u
2
) + mgh =
1
2
mu
2
+ 2mgh
so
v
2
2
= 2gh (4.5)
Similarly, between points C at z = 0 and B
1
2
m(v
2
1
+ u
2
) =
1
2
mu
2
+ 2mgh
v
2
1
= 4gh (4.6)
From equation 4.5 divided by equation 4.6

v
2
v
1

2
= 0.5
hence by equation 4.4 we get
e = 0.707
4.2.5 Example Filling a freight wagon with gravel
Problem: Gravel pours from a stationary container at a rate of R kg s
1
into
a wagon initially rolling at speed v
0
ms
1
, as shown in gure 33. The initial
mass of the wagon is m
0
kg and its length is L m.
Find the total mass of gravel loaded into the wagon if no horizontal force is
applied to it, and nd the change in kinetic energy while the wagon is loaded.
Solution: The total mass of the wagon and its load increases as the gravel
is loaded. But if no horizontal forces apply (note that this means that friction
47 Examples I
Figure 33: Loading moving freight wagon with gravel
must be ignored), then the horizontal momentum of the wagon plus loaded
gravel remains constant. Therefore the wagon must gradually slow down.
First consider how the wagons speed v changes with time t . The horizon-
tal momentum is constant, so initial momentum = momentum at time t :
m
0
v
0
= m(t )v(t )
but the total mass of wagon plus load after time t is m(t ) = m
0
+ Rt , so
v(t ) =
m
0
v
0
m
0
+ Rt
which decreases with t as expected (see gure 34).
Figure 34: Velocity of wagon v(t ) during loading
Let x(t ) be the wagons displacement after time t so that v(t ) = dx/dt .
Then the time interval during which gravel ows into the wagon can be found
from the time taken for the wagon to travel distance L (the wagons length).
4.2 Problems Using Energy and/or Momentum 48
Integrating v(t ) gives

T
0
dx
dt
dt =

L
0
1 dx =

T
0
m
0
v
0
m
0
+ Rt
dt
= L =
m
0
v
0
R

ln(m
0
+ Rt )

T
0
=
m
0
v
0
R
ln

m
0
+ RT
m
0

= T =
m
0
R

e
LR/m0v0
1

The gravel stops being loaded when x(t ) = L, so


mass of gravel loaded = RT = m
0
(e
LR/m0v0
1).
Change in kinetic energy:
KE =
1
2
m(T)v
2
(T)
1
2
m
0
v
2
0
=
1
2
m
0
v
2
0

m
0
m
0
+ RT
1

=
1
2
m
0
v
2
0
(1 e

LR
m
0
v
0 )
Thus the kinetic energy lost is
Losses = KE =
1
2
m
0
v
2
0
(1 e

LR
m
0
v
0 )
(N.B. Work = KE+Losses, and Work = 0 because no horizontal forces act).
What happens to this lost energy?