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Work, Energy and Power

Work is done when the point of application

of a force is moved in the direction of the

Work done = force x distance moved by the

force in the direction of the force

Work is measured in joules (J).

Kinetic energy is the ability of an object to

do work by virtue of its motion.

Elastic Potential Energy

Elastic potential energy (strain energy) is the
ability of an object to do work by virtue of a
change in its shape.

Force and displacement are vector quantities but

work done is a scalar quantity.

Chemical energy the ability to do work using

chemical reactions (fuels and electric cells store
chemical energy).

Potential energy
Work done to lift the box = force x distance moved

Nuclear energy the ability to do work by

changes in the constitution of nuclei (nuclear fission
and fusion are examples where energy stored in the
nucleus can be transferred to other forms).
Electrostatic potential energy the energy of a
charged particle by virtue of its position in an
electric field (charged capacitors store electrostatic
Radiant energy energy transferred by
electromagnetic waves (radio waves, light and
X'rays are examples of radiant energy).

Kinetic Energy
Principle of conservation of energy
Energy cannot be create or destroyed; it can only be
transferred from one form to another.
Sankey diagrams

(b) As the mower has no kinetic energy when she

has nished the task, how much work is done on the
lawnmower by frictional forces?
Ans. -8000 J
2. Two tugs pull a large vessel which has lost power.
The tension in each cable is 36 kN.
(a) Resolve each cable pull into forces parallel to
and perpendicular to the motion.
Ans. 35 kN, 8.1 kN
(b) How much work is clone in pulling the vessel
2.0 km by (i) the forces parallel to the direction of
motion (ii) the forces perpendicular to the direction
of motion?

The width of the arrow at the input

represents the chemical energy in the fuel.
The widths of the outgoing arrows represent
the energy transfers.
The sum of the widths of the outputs equals
that of the input. This indicates that the
energy is conserved.

A sankey diagram for a thermal power station.

Ans. (i) 140 MJ (ii) zero

The ability to transfer the input energy to
desired (useful) energy is the efficiency of the

3 During the first 0.60 m of the lift, a heavyweight

weightlifter produced an upward pull on the barbell
of 3800 N.
(a) lf the mass of the barbell was 240 kg, calculate
(i) the work done by the weightlifter on the barbell
Ans. 2.3 kJ
(ii) the work done by the pull of the Earth on the
Ans. 1.4 kJ
(b) Draw an energy ow or Sankey diagram for this
lift. What can you deduce about the barbell after it
has been raised 0.60 in?

Power is the rate of doing work or of
energy conversion.

4. A dog pulls on a lead with a force of 25 N.

Calculate the work done by the clog as it moves 10
m along the pavement when
(a) the lead makes an angle of 15 to the horizontal
(b) the lead makes an angle of 40 to the horizontal.
How much work is done by the person holding the
lead in each case?
Ans. (a) 241J (b) 192 J

1. To cut a lawn, Mum has to push a lawnmower 80
(a) If her average horizontal push on the mower is
100 N, how much work does she do on the
Ans. 8000 J

5. (a) Draw a free-body force diagram for a block of

mass 6.0 kg which is being pulled across a rough

a What is the potential Energy of the bob

at 15cm height.

horizontal table by a horizontal force of 30 N. The

maximum frictional force which the table can exert
on the block is 20 N.
(b) What is the work done by each of the forces in a
horizontal displacement of 0.80 m?

b Assuming energy is not lost, calculate

the velocity of the sphere at the lowest
position of the oscillation.
8. The car on a roller-coaster ride falls
through a height of 20m from rest at the
top of the first peak to the bottom of the
first dip. At the top of the second peak,
12m above the dip, it is travelling at 12
ms-1. The mass of the car and the
passengers is 2000 kg.


A skier is being pulled up a 20 slope by a drag lift.

The pulling wire is at an angle of 15
to the slope and the forces acting on the skier are:
the pull of the drag lift wire, P = 320 N
the perpendicular contact push of the snow, N = 620
the frictional push of the snow, P = 53 N
the pull of the Earth, W= 750 N.
(a) Calculate the work done by each force on the
skier as she is dragged 30 m up the slope.
(b) Hence show that the total work done on the skier
is zero.

a) Show that the speed of the car in the

dip is about 20 ms-1.
b) Calculate the work done by the car
against the resistive forces between the
two peaks.

Ans. (a) 9.3 kJ, zero, -7.7 kJ, -1.6 kJ

Ans. a) 19.8 ms-1 b) 13 kJ

7. The bob of the pendulum has a mass

of 10 kg.

9. A high-jumper of mass 80 kg reaches

the end of his run-up with 2100 J of KE.
At take-off he drives off the ground,
adding 800 J to his KE. Stating any
assumptions you make, estimate
(a) the speed of the high-jumper at the
end of his run-up
(b) the height of the bar which he could
clear if his KE. at the top of his jump is
1700 J.

Ans.(a) 7.2m s-1(b) 1.5 m above his take-off centre

of gravity