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What is work?
Work is the energy transfer that takes place when a force
causes an object to move.

work done = force applied × distance moved


in direction of force
W = Fs

Where:
 work done is measured in joules (J)
 force is measured in newtons (N)
 distance is measured in metres (m)

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Work: example question 1
A box is pushed across a floor by a constant force of 100 N.
What is the work done by the force to move the box 5 m?

W = Fs
100 N
= 100 × 5
= 500 J

If the floor is smooth, where does this energy go?


The box accelerates and gains kinetic energy.
If the floor is rough, where does the energy go?
Some or all of the energy is lost as heat and sound.
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Work done by a force at an angle
The same box is now dragged by a rope, which is raised at
an angle θ to the horizontal.

This time, the box moves in a different direction to the


direction of the applied force. How does this affect the work
done? Can you think of any suggestions?

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Calculating work done at an angle
When calculating the work done by a force acting at an
angle, it is useful to break the force down into components.

The tension in the rope can be broken down into a horizontal


and a vertical component.

The vertical component F


does no work because Fsinθ
θ
the box does not move in
that direction. Fcosθ
So to calculate work done by a force at an angle:

work done = force in direction of movement × distance moved

W = Fscosθ

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Work: example question 2
A toy car is pulled along by a piece of string which is at 30° to
the horizontal. Calculate the work done in pulling the toy if the
tension in the string is 10 N, and it is pulled along 5 m.

10 N

30°
5m

W = Fscosθ

= 10 × 5 × cos30°

= 43.3 J
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Investigating work

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Force–distance graphs

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Work: true or false?

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What is energy?
Energy is the measure of the ability of an object or a
system to perform work. There are many types of energy:

 kinetic energy – energy of an object due to its speed

 gravitational potential energy – energy of an object due


to position in a gravitational field

 elastic energy – energy stored when an object is


stretched or compressed

 chemical energy – energy stored in chemical bonds

 nuclear energy – energy stored in nuclei.

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Energy transfer
When work is done, energy is
transferred. That energy might be:
 gravitational potential energy
– e.g. when an object
changes height within a
gravitational field
 kinetic energy – e.g. when
an object changes speed
 light energy – e.g. when a
light bulb is switched on
 heat and sound – e.g. when
a car brakes sharply.

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Conservation of energy
The law of conservation of energy states that:
Energy cannot be created, or destroyed;
it can only be changed into another form.

In other words, the total energy


of a system is constant.

A bungee jumper’s
gravitational potential energy
is changed into kinetic energy
as they jump, and then stored
as elastic potential energy as
the bungee rope stretches.

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What is gravitational potential energy?
Gravitational potential energy (GPE, Ep or Egrav) is the
energy of an object due to its position in a gravitational field.

The Ep gained by a mass is proportional to the force used to


lift it, and the distance it is lifted:

gravitational = mass × gravitational × height


potential energy field strength
Ep = mgh

It is often talked about in terms


of a change in an object’s Ep ΔEp = mgΔh
due to a change in its height:

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Ep: example question 1
A supermarket employee lifts a
baked bean tin, weighing 250 g,
from the floor, to a shelf 2 m high.
How much gravitational potential
energy does it gain?
(g = 9.81 N kg-1)

ΔEp = mgΔh
= 0.250 × 9.81 × 2
= 4.9 J

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Ep: example question 2
A pole vaulter of mass 80 kg
jumps a height of 5 m. What is
his gravitational potential
energy at the highest point of
his jump?
(g = 9.81 N kg-1)

Ep = mgh

= 80 × 9.81 × 5

= 3924 J

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Work done using slopes

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What is kinetic energy?
Kinetic energy (KE or Ek) is the energy of an object due to
its speed.

kinetic energy = ½ × mass × speed2


Ek = ½mv2

Where:

 kinetic energy is measured in joules (J)


 mass is measured in kilograms (kg)
 speed is measured in metres per second (ms-1).

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Deriving Ek = ½mv2
Consider a force F acting on an object of mass m, initially at
rest, moving it a distance s in time t.

 From ‘suvat’ equations: s = ½ (u + v)t a = (v – u) / t


 Because u = 0 ms-1: s = ½vt a=v/t
 Newton’s 2nd law: F = ma
 Substituting a = v / t: F = mv / t
 Work done by force: W = Fs
W = (mv / t) × ½vt
W = ½mv2
 Work done = energy transferred: Ek = ½mv2

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Ek and Ep
If resistive forces, such as friction and air resistance, are
ignored, Ek and Ep are related as follows:

loss of Ek = gain in Ep
lose of Ep = gain in Ek

For example, if an object of mass m is released above the


ground at height h, it will gain speed, v, as it falls.

Due to the conservation of energy, and assuming air


resistance is negligible, after falling a height of Δh:

½mv2 = mgΔh

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Conservation of energy: example question
A ball of mass 400 g is thrown upwards at a speed of 5 ms-1.
(g = 9.81 N kg-1).
 What is the ball’s Ek as it is released? Ek = ½mv2
= ½ × 0.4 × 52
= 5J

 What is the ball’s maximum gain of Ep? ΔEp = Ek


= 5J
 What is the ball’s maximum height? Ep = mgh
h = Ep / mg
= 5 / (0.4 × 9.81)
= 1.27 m
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Resistive forces
Resistive forces are forces that act on a moving body in the
opposite direction to the direction of movement.
The main resistive force is friction, which includes drag or
air resistance.
When an object such as a rollercoaster moves vertically
without a driving force, any difference between a change in
ΔEp and ΔEk corresponds to a loss of energy to resistive
forces, or work done against resistive forces:

W = ΔEp + ΔEk

Where ΔEk is positive if ΔEp


is negative, and vice versa.

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Investigating Ek and Ep

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Energy calculations

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What is power?
Power is the rate at which work is done, or the rate at which
energy is transferred.

power = work done / time taken


P = W/t

Where:

 power is measured in watts (W)


 work done or energy transferred is measured in joules (J)
 time is measured in seconds (s).

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Power: example question 1
A crane lifts a load of
1500 kg a height of 25 m
at a steady rate, in a
time of 2 min. What is
the power of the crane?

P=W/t W = energy transferred = ΔEp


= 367 875 / 120 ΔEp = mgΔh
= 3066 W = 1500 × 9.81 × 25
= 367 875 J
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Motive power
The power outputted by a powered object, such as an engine
or muscles, is sometimes called the motive power.

If the powered object is moving at a constant speed at a


constant height:

power = force × speed


P = Fv

At constant speed and height, the force produced by the


powered object is equal but opposite to all resistive forces
acting on the object, such as friction and air resistance.

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Power: example question 2
What is the resistive force on a cyclist who has leg muscles of
power 200 W each and who reaches a top speed of 10 ms-1 on
a level road?

P = Fv
F=p/v
= (200 × 2) / 10
= 40 N

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Power: efficiency
Efficiency is the ratio of useful work done by a device, to
the total work done (or the ratio of useful output energy to
the total energy input).

efficiency = useful work done / total work done


efficiency = useful energy output / total energy input

Efficiency is often expressed as a percentage.


Efficiency is always less than 100%, as no device is perfect
and some energy is always lost.
For example, what is the efficiency of a 60 W filament
lamp that gives out 1 W of light?
efficiency = 1 / 60 = 0.017 = 1.7%
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Sankey diagrams
A Sankey diagram is a type of flow diagram that shows the
major energy transfers, including energy losses, through a
closed system.

For instance, a Sankey diagram for a filament lamp that is


5% efficient would look like this:
light energy
electrical (5 W)
energy (100 W)

heat energy
(95 W)
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Sankey diagrams: example question

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Power: calculations

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Glossary

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What’s the keyword?

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Work, energy and power equations

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Multiple-choice quiz

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