Classical Mechanics Laboratory Experiment Formal Report

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Work Power and Energy

Classical Mechanics Laboratory Experiment Formal Report

© All Rights Reserved

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Department of Mathematics and Physics

College of Science, University of Santo Tomas

Espaa, Manila Philippines

Abstract

The experiment employed basic

principles of work, power and energy which

include the change of both the kinetic and

potential energy of a body under the

influence of gravity, the conservation of

mechanical energy, and the work of a body

running against the time paramenter, also

known as the power P. The conservation of

mechanical energy was verified through a

graphical anaylsis of the object under free

fall. In addition, simple demonstration of the

power output by the use of staircase was

also employed in the experiment.

1. Introduction

Nowadays, energy conservation is

undoubtly the single most important idea in

physics. Strangely enough, although the

basic idea of energy conservation was

familiar to scientists from the time of

Newton onwards, this crucial concept only

moved to the centre-stage of physics in

about 1850 when scientists realized that heat

was a form of energy [4].

Energy can take many different

forms: potential, kinetic, thermal, chemical,

electrical, nuclear, etc. In fact, everything

that we observe aroud us represents one of

the numerous manifestations of energy.

However, all these processes leave the total

amount of energy in the Universe invariant;

that is, the total energy of a system is

unchanged regardless of any transformation

or even rotation of the coordinate systems.

In other words, whenever, and however,

energy is transformed from one form into

another, it is always conserved. For a closed

system; (i.e., a system which does not

exchange energy with the rest of the

Universe,) implies that the total energy of

the system in question must remain constant

in time.

Work, on one hand, as used in

physics has a narrower meaning than it does

in everyday life. First, it only refers to

physical work, of course, and second,

something has to be accomplished.

Technically, work is done when a force

pushes something and the object moves

some distance in the direction its being

pushed or pulled. The quantitative idea of

how much work is done is usually expressed

in units to measure it. In addition, the rate at

of work done also known as the power, is

commonly used particularly in electricity

bill which usually expressed in terms of

kilowatt-hours or kWh.

The objectives of the experiment are

to demonstrate the conservation of

mechanical energy, to measure the change in

kinetic and potential energies as ball moves

in free fall, and to determine the power

output when going up and down the

staircase.

2. Theory

Work

In physics, work is defined as the dot

(scalar) product of force F and displacement

s, that is,

[eq. 2.0]

where is the angle between the applied

force F and the displacement s

The force and displacement vectors

are multiplied together in such a way that

the product yields a scalar. Thus, work is not

a vector, and has no direction associated

with it. Since work is the product of force

and displacement, it has units of newton-

meters, or joules (J). A joule is the work

done by applying force on one newton

through a displacement of one meter [2].

Mathematically, no work is done if

the force F and the displacement s are

perpendicular to each other. This is because

the angle between these two vectors is 90

o

.

Since cos(90

o

) = 0, the resulting value for

work would be 0.

Work is a measure of effort

expended by a force moving an object from

one point to another point [a]. If the force

varies then the total amount of work done is

determined by a definite integral

()

[eq. 2.1]

It is also interesting to note that work

is not a measure of how tired you are after

perform the work. It is a measure of the

product of the force that was applied in the

direction of the displacement. Work is also a

measure of the energy that was transferred

while the force was being applied.

Power

Work can be done slowly or quickly,

but the time taken to perform the work

doesnt affect the amount of work which is

done since there is no element of time

associated with it. However, if you do the

work quickly, you are operating at a higher

power even that if you do the work slowly.

Power is defined as the rate at which the

work is done or the rate of energy transfer.

The equation for power is

[eq. 2.2]

where P = Power, = work done, v =

velocity.

When a quantity of work is done

during a time interval , the average work

done per unit time or average power P

av

is

defined to be

[eq. 2.4]

The rate at which work is done might

not be constant. Redefining, the

instantaneous power P as the quotient in [eq.

2.4 ]. As approaches zero

[eq. 2.5]

The SI unit of power is watt (W),

named for the English inventor James Watt.

One watt equals 1 joule per second: 1 J = 1

J/s. The kilowatt (1 kW = 10

3

W) and the

megawatt (1 MW = 10

6

W) are also

commonly used. In the British system, worlo

is expressed in foot-pounds, and the unit of

power is the foot-pound per second [3]. A

larger unit called the horsepower (hp) is also

used

1 hp = 746 W = 0.746 kW

The watt is a familiar unit of

electrical power. The kilowatt-hour (kWh) is

the usual commercial unit of electrical

energy. One kilowatt-hour is the total work

done in 1 hour (3600 seconds) when the

power is 1 kilowatt (10

3

J/s).

In Classical Mechanics, power can

also be expressed in terms of force and

velocity [3]. Suppose that a force F on a

body while it undergoes a vector

displacement . If the F

||

is the component

of F tangent to the path (parallel to ), then

the work done by the force is = F

||

,

The average power is

[eq. 2.6]

Instantaneous power P is the limit of the

above expression as :

[eq. 2.7]

Where v is the magnitude of the

instantaneous velocity. It can also be

expressed in terms of the dot (scalar)

product:

[eq. 2.8]

Energy

Energy is the ability to do work, and

when work is done, there is always a

transfer of energy. Energy can take on many

forms, such as potential energy, kinetic

energy, and heat energy. The unit for energy

is the same as the unit for work, the joule

(J). This is because the amount of work done

on a system is exactly equal to the change in

energy of the system. This is called the

work-energy theorem.

Potential Energy

Potential energy is the energy a

system has because of its position or

configuration [4]. For instance, stretching a

rubber band means you store energy in the

rubber band as elastic potential energy.

Potential energy generally has two

forms. On one hand, it is the gravitational

potential energy U

grav

. It is defined as the

product of the bodys weight (mg) and its

height (y) above the ground

U

grav

= mgy [eq. 2.9]

This type of potential energy is

associated with the bodys weight and its

height above the ground. On the other hand,

there is the elastic potential energy U

el

.

Elastic potential energy arises when there

are situations in which the potential energy

is not gravitational in nature. It is defined as

half of the product of the force constant of

the spring k and the square of its

displacement x

[eq. 2.10]

Mathematically, the potential energy

is a path-independent or conservative

physical quantity. For instance, consider a

body moving in a conservative force-field

f(r), Picking some point O arbitrarily in the

field, we can define a function U(r) which

possesses a unique value at every point in

the field [4]. The value of this function is

associated with some general point R is

simply

()

[eq. 2.11]

In other words, U(R) is just the

energy transferred to the field (i.e., minus

the work done by the field) when the body

moves from point O to point R. The value of

U at point O is zero: i.e., U(O) = 0. The

above definition uniquely specifies U(R),

since the work done when a body moves

between two points in a conservative force-

field is independent of the path taken

between these points [4].

Kinetic Energy

The kinetic energy (KE) is an energy

of an object has because it is moving. The

KE of a moving object depends on its mass

m and the square of its velocity v

[eq. 2.12]

But in order for a mass to gain KE,

work must be done on the mass to push it up

to a certain speed or to slow it down. The

work-energy theorem states that the change

in KE of an object is exactly equal to the

work done on it [2], assuming there is no

change in the objects potential energy.

Fig. 2.0 The derivation of the Work-Energy Theorem

(Photo credit: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~kaldon/classes/ph205-

22-KE-Derivation-Calculus.gif)

Conservation of Mechanical Energy

When work is done on a system, the

energy of that system changes from one

form to another, but the total amount of

energy remains the same. The total energy

therefore can be said that is is conserved,

that is, remains constant during any process.

This is also called the law of conservation of

energy. For a closed system, (i.e., a system

which does not exchange energy with the

rest of the Universe), implies that the total

energy of the system in question must

remain constant in time [4].

The kinetic energy (KE) represents

energy the mass possesses by virtue of its

motion. Likewise, potential energy (U)

represents energy the mass possesses by

virtue of its position. The total energy E of

the system therefore can be written

ME = KE + U = constant [eq. 2.13]

In other words, the increase in the

KE of the body, as it moves from some point

to another point, is equal to the decrease in

the U evaluated between these same two

points.

It is clear that E is a conserved

quantity. Although the KE and U of the

object varies, its total energy remains the

same.

The principle of conservation of

mechanical energy also states that energy of

an isolated system can be neither created nor

destroyed but can be transformed to other

forms of energy [2]. In other words, the

following must hold:

ME

before

= ME

after

[eq. 2.14]

3. Methodology

In the experiment, two activities

were performed. One of which is the power

output which first requires the determination

of work by each member when going up and

down the staircase. Secondly, the

demonstration of the conservation of

mechanical energy of the tossed ball by the

use of the motion detector computer

software Vernier Logger Pro

(c)

.

Activity 1: Power

Initially, the weight of each member

was determined. This will generally serves

to be the force F that will be used for the

calculation of the work done.

Each member of the group was asked

to go up and down the staircase of the Main

Building and recorded the time for each.

Afterwards, the vertical distance h of the

staircase was determined using a meter stick

by summing up the height of each of the

successive risers:

h

total

= h

1

+ h

2

+ ... + h

n

[eq. 3.0]

After obtaining all the relevant data,

the power output P of each member was

calculated by multiplying the force F and

the displacement s (in this case, h

total

= s)

and dividing it overall by the time taken to

go up and down the staircase. In addition,

the most powerful member of the group

was determined by the largest numerical

value of the calculated power output.

Activity 2: Energy a Tossed Ball

The graphical curves were predicted

and sketched of potetential energy versus

time, kinetic energy versus time, and the

combination of the two the total

mechanical energy versus time of a ball

thrown vertically upward from a height of

50.0 cm. In able to compare the predicted

graphs, the motion detector computer

software Vernier Logger Pro

(c)

with the file

16 Energy of a Tossed Ball was used. The

ball was tossed straight upwards while

holding it 50.0 cm above the motion detector

until it began to collect data.

4. Results and Discussion

Activity 1

Vertical distance between second

floor and third floor = 2.513 m

Table 1. The work done and power

output of Each Member of the group in

going up and down the staircase.

Member 1 2 3

Weight (N) 588 N 401.8 N 519.4 N

Work in going

up (J)

1477.64

J

1009.72

J

1305.25

J

Time to go up

(s)

5.6 s 29.1 s 5.6 s

Power output

in going up(W)

263.86

W

34.70 W 233.08

W

Work in going

down (J)

1477.64

J

1009.72

J

1305.25

J

Time to go

down (s)

5.5 s 9.9 s 7.8 s

Power output

in going down

(W)

268.66

W

101.991

W

167.34

W

From Table 1, the work and power

output changes per member. Ideally, the

power to go down shoud be lesser than to go

up because of safety issues. However, one

gathered data shows that going down

requires less power. This is because of the

pull of gravity. The gravitational pull g

naturally acts downward hence, it is easier to

follow its direction than to oppose it.

Activity 2

Predictions:

a. Fig. 4.0 Graph of potential energy

vs. time

b. Fig. 4.1 Graph of kinetic energy vs.

time

c. Fig. 4.2 Graph of total mechanical

energy vs. time

d. Fig. 4.3 Total mechanical energy

plot by the use of Vernier Logger

Pro

(c)

From the graphs provided above, the

theoretical curve plots are a., b., c. With the

use of the motion detector computer

software Vernier Logger Pro

(c)

, the curve

from the first second of d. is somewhat

similar. Although the curve seems to be

messy between the time 1s and 2s. This is

because there are several contributing

factors that affect the entirety of the graph.

For instance, the ball may not fall straigthly

downward as it was tossed straightly

upward.

5. Conclusion

Work done is directly proportional to

the applied force in the direction of the

displacement. Since work done is equivalent

to the product of force and displacement, we

can readily conclude that as the work done is

increasing given the displacement constant,

the force is also increasing. In addition,

since the power output is equivalent to the

work done over the time taken to do that,

given a constant time, it can be said that the

power expended is directly proportional to

the work done. Also, for the energy, it is

really neither created nor destroyed. From

the graphs provided, the relationship

between the kinetic and potential energies

are opposite; that is, its either lose or gain.

Although they vary when the object moves,

their sum is still the same (as stated in the

conservation of mechanical energy)

regardless of any situations (assuming it is

in a closed system).

6. Applications

1. Compare the work that you do when

you go upstairs to the work you do in

going downstairs. Based on this, can

you explain why it is more difficult to

go upstairs than downstairs?

Usually, the work done is the

same because the weight is invariant

in a particular location. Furthermore,

it is more difficult to go upstairs

because you are opposing the natural

direction of gravity which is acted

downwards (g = 9.8 m/s

2

).

2. A certain professor finds it easy to

go upstairs from the ground floor to

the third floor of the main Building

by going up the second floor using

the main stairs, walking along the

corridor of the accounting division

and using the side stairs to go to the

third floor. Is there a basis to this

from the point of view of physics?

Yes, and it is because of the

steepiness of the stairs. It is much

difficult to use a stair with more

inclination as you tend to be more

careful to avoid any accident/s which

results to a greater effort and longer

time.

3. It is 5 minutes before your 7:00 am

class in the fourth floor and you are

still in the ground floor. Will you run

or walk upstairs in order not to be

late? Assume that your power output

is 15 watts and 20 watts when

walking and running, respectively.

The vertical distance between the

ground floor and the fourth floor is

12 m and that you weigh 750N.

I would rather run because

the resulting time will only be 450s

or about 7.5 minutes only than

walking which will be 600s or about

10 min.

4. An object is thrown vertically up.

Neglecting air resistance, how is the

change in the potential energy of the

object related the change in its

kinetic energy?

As the object is thrown up, it

is slowing down. As a result, the

kinetic energy decreases. Moreover,

when the object slows down due to

the force of gravity pushing down on

it. Hence, the gravitational potential

energy increases. For upward to

downward, it is lose of KE gain of

PE

grav.

7. References

[1] Stewart, J. (2003). Early

Transcendentals Single Variable Calculus.

Canada, CA: Thomson Learning.

[2] Zeitlin, J. (2003). SAT II: Physics.

Canada, CA: Kaplan Publishing.

[3] Ford, A., Freedman, R., Young, H.

(2012). Sears and Zemanskys University

Physics with Modern Physics. New York,

NY: Pearson Learning.

[4] Fitzpatrick, R. (n.d.). Classical

Mechanics. Retrieved online from

farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching.../301.pdf

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