You are on page 1of 45

X INTRODUCTION

We have discussed motion in terms of velocity and acceleration. But why do


objects move? What makes an object which is at rest move? What causes a car to
accelerate or decelerate? Each case mentioned involves force. We experience
force in most of the things that we do. Any push or pull on an object requires
force, like pushing a trolley at the supermarket or pulling your luggage bag at the
airport.

Force is also involved when a motor lifts an elevator or a hammer hits a nail or
even when the leaves of a tree move when the wind blows. An object falls to the
ground due to a certain force called the force of gravity. Force, however, does not
always give rise to motion. You may have experienced pushing a car very hard
and it still does not move!

By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Define force and its types;
2. Describe six effects of force;
3. State the relationship between force, mass and acceleration (F = ma);
4. Describe gravity;
5. Relate work to power;
6. Differentiate between potential energy, kinetic energy and energy
conservation; and
7. Discuss simple and compound machines.
LEARNING OUTCOMES
T
T
o
o
p
p
i
i
c
c
3
3

X
Force and
Energy
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

69
In order to understand force, let us look at two important elements associated
with it pushing and pulling.


Whenever there is interaction between two objects, there is a force upon each of
the objects. When the interaction ceases, the two objects no longer experience the
force. Forces only exist as a result of an interaction.

Do you know that there are many forces acting on you all of the time? One
example is the force of gravity. You might not be aware of this but this force
exists with you all the time. This can be felt if you are falling you feel and sense
that something is pulling you down. On the other hand, if you are standing
perfectly still on the floor, the floor is pushing up on you just as hard as gravity is
pulling you down!
TYPES OF FORCES
Now, let us get to know how many types of forces there are. There are many
types of forces around us. However, in this module, we will only discuss four
frictional, magnetic, gravitational and electrostatic. Let us look at them one by
one.
3.1.1 Frictional Force
What can you say about friction? Do you know what it stands for? Friction acts
when there is contact between two surfaces. Friction is the resistance between
two surfaces that are in contact with each other. Friction is greater when an object
is on a rough surface rather than on a smooth surface.

How about frictional force? Do you know what it is?



Can you give some examples of friction? Let us look at Figure 3.1 for two
examples of friction.

Frictional force is a force that opposes the direction of motion and acts in the
opposite direction of the motion.
3.1
A force is a push or pull upon an object as a result of the object's interaction
with another object.
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
70

Figure 3.1: Examples of friction

Below are explanations for the examples in Figure 3.1:

(a) If we skid a book across the surface of a desk, then the desk exerts a friction
force in the opposite direction of its motion. This stops the movement of the
book after a while.

(b) When we want to slow a bicycle quickly, we need to have a lot of friction
between the brake blocks and the wheels as they touch.
3.1.2 Magnetic Force
I am sure you know what a magnet is. How about magnetic force?



A magnet also exerts force on another magnet. The force that exists between two
magnets can be a force of attraction or repulsion. Figure 3.2 shows a simple
experiment to study the force that magnets exert on each other.

TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

71

Figure 3.2: Two magnets exerting force on each other
3.1.3 Gravitational Force
Another type of force is gravitational force. Gravity holds objects in place on the
Earths surface. As we ascend from the Earths surface, the pull of gravity
decreases. It is gravity which causes all objects to have weight. Thus, the weight
of an object is the force of gravity pulling that object down. Can you think of any
example?

One example is when you kick a ball into the air; it will fall back to the ground.
This shows that gravitational force has pulled the ball back to the Earths surface.
3.1.4 Electrostatic Force
The last type of force for you to learn is electrostatic force. Let us look at its
definition. The attractive and repulsive interaction between any two charged
objects is called an electric force. One simple example of this force is the plastic
comb. After running a plastic comb through your hair, you will find that the
comb attracts bits of paper (see Figure 3.3).


Figure 3.3: Bits of papers get attracted to a comb
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
72
The attractive force is often strong enough to suspend the paper from the comb.
Try this out.

The same effect occurs with other rubbed materials, such as glass and hard
rubber. When materials behave this way, they are said to have become
electrically charged and the force is called electrostatic force.



Effects of Forces
As we know, we cannot see force. However, we can see and sometimes feel the
effects of forces. Do you know that there are six effects of forces? Let us look at
these effects as explained in Table 3.1.

3.2
Why does a parachutist fall more slowly to the ground when
he uses a larger parachute? Explain.
ACTIVITY 3.1
For each situation listed, name the type of force at work.
(a) A magnet pulls a nail out of a box.
(b) A test tube, after being rubbed with wool, attracts small pieces of
cork particles.
(c) A man pushes a stone up a hill.
(d) A ball stops rolling.
(e) A satellite is held in orbit above the Earth.
SELF-CHECK 3.1
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

73
Table 3.1: Six Effects of Forces
Effect Example
Move a
stationary
object
You can kick a ball to start off a football game.

Slow down or
stop a moving
object
A parachute can make an object slow down
because of air resistance.

Change the
speed of a
moving object
When you hit a tennis ball, it speeds up.

Change the
direction of a
moving object
You can make a cricket ball change direction by
hitting it with a bat.

Change the
shape of an
object
If you squeeze or kick a football, it will be
compressed. This change may be permanent or
temporary.

Change the
size of an
object
When you squeeze a sponge, its size changes.





X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
74
Now, let us get to know interesting facts about force! Here they are:







FORCE FACTS!

(a) Measured in Newton (N).
(b) Usually acts in pairs.
(c) Acts in a particular direction.
(d) Usually cannot be seen but the effects can be felt.

Label the force in each picture as a push or pull. Then, describe whether
the force is causing a change in speed or direction or both.


ACTIVITY 3.2
1. Define force.

2. Give an example when a force:
(a) Changes the shape of an object.
(b) Changes the direction of a moving object.
(c) Changes the speed of a moving object.

3. Explain four effects of forces.
SELF-CHECK 3.2
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

75
3.2.1 Force Can Change Shape and Movement of
Objects
Force can change the shape of an object. A simple activity to manifest this is by
throwing a brick into the mud in a basin. The mud is splashed out from the basin
due to the impact of the force from the brick. Another example is about various
materials that require more or less pulling force so that the material can be torn
apart. A tissue paper will need less pulling force while a cardboard will need
more force to be torn apart.

When force is exerted on a soft object, the object becomes squeezed, stretched,
bent, twisted or squashed. When force is exerted on a fragile object, the object
will be broken. For example, a glass bottle will disintegrate if it falls on
the floor.

By understanding the nature of a force, people can prevent their belongings from
colliding. For example, lets say a small boy is riding a bicycle. He avoids
colliding with trees because if the bicycle collides, it will experience a change in
shape (Figure 3.4).


Figure 3.4: Crushed bicycle
Source: http://www.wizardsofaz.com

It is the same if you throw plasticine onto a wall. The plasticine will also
experience a change in shape. In order to understand the reason behind those
two situations, think about when pushing certain objects, they will push back to
you. So does the bicycle. When the bicycle hits the tree, the tree will hit back at
the bicycle. As a consequence, the bicycle will experience some changes in shape
(crushed). The same principle also applies to the plasticine. Once it hits the wall,
the wall will hit back at the plasticine. As a result, the plasticine experiences
change in shape.

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
76
When you play badminton, you will probably smash the shuttlecock to make it
move faster so that you may defeat your opponent in the game. This activity
shows that force can speed up the motion of an object.

When you go on a shopping spree at the supermarket, you will use a trolley to
bring the groceries around (Figure 3.5).


Figure 3.5: Pushing a trolley
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Sometimes, you will stop the trolley at certain sections in the supermarket to
observe things you are interested in buying. Then, you start to push again to
move to other sections. When you hold the moving trolley, force is applied to the
trolley to make it stop. When you push it back, force is applied to the trolley so
that it starts moving. Sometimes, you push it harder so that it can move faster. By
doing this activity, you are actually putting more force on the trolley.

Table 3.2 shows the different types of forces on objects.

TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

77
Table 3.2: Six Types of Forces
Force Explanation
Propulsion This can be any driving force, it may be a push or pull, but it could be
an engine which forces an object forward
Water
resistance
This is a force which acts in water; it can slow objects down, reducing
the effect of gravity.
Air
resistance
This is a force which acts in the air, it can slow objects down when they
are moving against it or if harnessed could be used to move an object
along.
Friction This force acts on objects when they are in contact with a surface, such
as the ground. It can be reduced by ensuring both surfaces are smooth.
Gravity This force affects every object on Earth. It is a force which pulls
everything to the centre of the Earth.
Upthrust This is an upward force which acts in water; it acts on an object against
gravity and it is the reason why certain objects float.
3.2.2 Friction
Let us do this activity to learn more about friction:



It is all about friction. Friction is a force that opposes the movement of an object.
In other words, the direction of a frictional force is always against its motion. For
example, if the direction of a moving object is towards the left, the direction of
the frictional force is towards the right.

Friction occurs when two surfaces rub against each other. For example, when a
marble rolls on the floor, friction occurs when the surface of the marble rubs
against the surface of the floor. Eventually, the marble will stop rolling because
the frictional force longer that the force of the moving marble.

Effects of Friction Force on Movement of Object
Let your students do the following activities to experience and observe the effects
of friction on the movement of an object.

(a) Rub your palms together. What do you feel? Do you feel warm? You can
do this when you feel cold.
Roll a marble on two types of surfaces: smooth and rough. Can you predict
which marble will roll a longer distance? Can you explain why a marble rolls
a longer distance on a smooth surface than a rough surface?
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
78
(b) Got an eraser? Rub it on a piece of paper as much as you can. Observe what
happens to the size and shape of the eraser. Make a conclusion based on
this observation. Relate it to the concept of friction.

(c) Ride a bicycle on a smooth road and then on a field full of grass. Which
place needs more energy for you to ride the bicycle?

The condition of the surfaces that rub against each other is a factor that
contributes to friction. A small friction occurs when the surfaces are smooth
whereas there will be greater friction when the surfaces are rough. This is why it
is harder to ride a bicycle in a field full of grass than a smooth road.

The type of surface also affects the distance moved by the object. If a child rolls a
toy car on different surfaces, the car will move the furthest on the smoothest
surface and the slowest on the roughest surface. At home, have you ever noticed
how easy it is to move a small table compared with a big refrigerator? The reason
is friction also depends on the weight of an object. A heavier object exerts a
greater frictional force.

Students should be taught about friction as a force that slows moving
objects and may prevent objects from starting to move. For that, you may
discuss the following:

(a) Air resistance: Investigating parachutes.
(b) Water resistance: Why is it hard work to walk through water?
(c) Why are fish the shape they are?
(d) Why are boats and ships the shape they are?
(e) Investigating different surfaces: Smooth and rough.

Students also should be taught that when objects are pushed or pulled, an
opposing pull or push can be felt. For that, you may do and discuss the
following exercise:

x Practical: Stretching a spring balance. When they pull harder that is
using a bigger force, the spring balance records a higher reading in
Newton.
ACTIVITY 3.3
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

79
Remember that friction is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Friction allows
us to walk without falling over and to pull a thread with a needle. Smooth car
tyres have less friction on the road than tyres with tread. Which tyre is safer?
Friction is also the cause of wear of the moving parts of engines so you have to
reduce friction with lubricants such as motor oil.

The simplest method of reducing friction is to place rollers between the two
surfaces. This method is used when boats are launched, or when heavy wooden
crates have to be moved. Here linear friction is replaced by rolling friction. Ball
bearings are used to reduce friction for revolving shafts. The axle of a bicycle is
mounted in ball bearings. The ball race is similar to the ball race used in a bicycle.

Friction is thus reduced by:

(a) Replacing linear friction with rolling friction; and

(b) By using hard surfaces, as hard surfaces have less friction than softer
surfaces.

Lubrication is the most common method of reducing friction. On a bicycle all
moving parts have small holes through which oil is squirted so that the parts that
move in contact with one another are covered in oil. How does friction help in
increasing or decreasing the speeds of athletes at sports events?

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
80

Fill in the crossword puzzle.

7

4



1

2




6 5

9



8






3


Hints:
1. Friction allows us to walk or run without _ __________ .
2. Friction enables us to hold things because it __________ the object
from moving.
3. The brake system in vehicles makes use of friction to ________ the
vehicles.
4. If there is no friction, you will not be able to _______ properly on
the ground.
5. Friction enables us to ______ a knife and other instruments.
6. Friction produces _______ which can damage some parts of
machines.
7. Friction causes surfaces which are rubbing ________ each other to
wear out.
8. Friction also causes wasting of ___________.
9. Worn-out tyres are ________ because they can slide and skid
easily, causing accidents to occur.
SELF-CHECK 3.3
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

81

3.2.3 Applications of Frictional Force
Before we go to the applications of frictional force, let us recall what it is. Can you
give the meaning of frictional force?

Frictional forces are present everywhere in our daily life. Friction is useful in
many instances. Without friction, we would not be able to walk or run and cars
will not move. Friction also prevents our feet from slipping. It is simply
impossible to reduce frictional forces completely. Frictional forces are useful in
some situations but can be an obstruction in others.

As stated in its definition, frictional forces exist between surfaces of two objects
being in contact. Their directions are always parallel to that surface and opposite
of the direction of the intended motion of an object (see Figure 3.6).


Figure 3.6: Frictional force

There are many ways to reduce friction. Find out how to reduce friction
using:
(a) Aerodynamic shape.
(b) Rollers or ball bearings.
(c) Lubricants such as oil, wax or grease.
(d) Talcum powder or air cushion.
(e) Smoothening surfaces in contact.
ACTIVITY 3.4
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
82
Let us turn on our time machine to discover the early applications of this force.
The first practical application of friction occurred nearly a million years ago,
when it was discovered that heat from friction could be used to light a fire. The
use of liquid lubricants to minimise the work needed to transport heavy objects
was discovered more than 4,000 years ago. Isnt that interesting?

However, friction has its disadvantages. Friction opposes motion. Thus, you have
to add more energy to move an object. This reduces efficiency and leads to
wastage of energy. Friction also causes wear and tear of moving parts in
machines such as cars. That is why we need to replace certain parts of our cars
after some time. When you use a saw to cut up something, be careful with its
blade. It tends to heat up when a lot of sawing is done. This causes the metal to
snap when it becomes very hot. This sounds scary, doesnt it? But with proper
equipment and precautions, I am sure this kind of incident can be avoided.

Let us try a simple activity.



By the end of this experiment, can you describe the characteristics of materials
which provide good grip? Is it rubbery, soft, grippy, bendy, smooth or rough?
What conclusion can you make of this experiment? Well, next time you want to
buy a new pair of shoes, you might want to think about having one with
increased frictional forces rather than grip!

How about the objects in or on water? Do you know that water resistance or
friction does exist? Well, being in water, ships, boats, submarines and fish all
have to face the similar effects of water resistance or friction. Let us take a fish as
an example. Have you ever thought how fish reduce the frictional forces on their
bodies as they move through water? The answer is having a streamlined shape,
slippery surface and few protrusions (see Figure 3.7)!

Experiment 3.1
Objective: To identify the characteristics of materials with good grip.
Procedure:
(a) Place different items of footwear on a tray or other flat surface.
(b) Carefully tip the tray. You will notice that the shoes with more grip
(greater frictional forces) will be the last to move. Try this with different
shoes. Predict which will be the best.
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

83

Figure 3.7: A fish has a streamlined shape, slippery surface and
few protrusions to reduce frictional force in water

So, how does a submarine copy the fishs characteristics in order to face the
effects of water resistance? By studying the characteristics of a ship, we humans
do the best we can in designing our submarines, ships and boats. This is done by
choosing shapes that will glide through the water and materials which are as
smooth as we can economically make them.

As mentioned before, frictional force can be our friend and also our enemy. One
simple example of being our friend is that friction helps us to walk (Figure 3.8).


Figure 3.8: Friction helps us to walk
Source: http://www.csicop.org

Have you ever tried to walk on ice? Try walking around the room you are in. If
you walk slowly and concentrate hard you may be able to feel each foot as it
pushes down and slightly backwards with each step. Without this friction
allowing you to push back against the floor, you would get nowhere.

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
84
How about Olympic swimmers? Olympic swimmers reduce the frictional forces
of water resistance by using these techniques:

(a) Smooth swimsuits;
(b) Bald heads;
(c) Swimming caps; and
(d) Removal of body hair.

Interesting isnt it? How about the aeroplane? How do aeroplane manufacturers
reduce the frictional forces of air resistance in their planes? The planes are made
with:

(a) Smooth materials;
(b) Aerodynamic shape; and
(c) Few protrusions.

Let us do a thought experiment. Imagine you are trying to drive away from a
muddy field. But you are having difficulty because the wheels of your car are
spinning on the mud. This is happening because there is not enough friction
between your tyres and the ground. The mud is acting as a lubricant (rather like
oil) and reducing the friction. So, how could you get out of this sticky mess?

You need to increase the frictional force to make the car move. How? You could
put sand or stones beneath the wheels to reduce the lubricating effect of the mud.
The wheel could get a grip and you can get drive away in no time!

Can you think of some daily activities that can be associated with friction? Check
out the answers in Figure 3.9.

TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

85

Figure 3.9: Friction in daily activities


Find and observe one way that friction affects you in your daily life. After
you have chosen one friction event from your daily life, answer the
following questions and combine them into one paragraph.

(a) What are the two things which rub each other?
(b) How is friction helpful or hurtful in this case?
(c) If the friction is harmful, how can you reduce it? If it is helpful,
what can be done to increase the friction?
(d) Can you think of a similar case in which friction will have the same
effect?
ACTIVITY 3.5
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
86
MEASUREMENT OF FORCE
In this subtopic, we will learn about unit of forces and the principle of spring
balance.
3.3.1 Unit of Forces
As with all physical quantities, force also has a method of measurement. Force
has a certain magnitude or size and acts in one direction. We measure force in
Newton. How do we measure this? We measure force by using an instrument
called a spring balance or Newton balance (Figure 3.10). The spring scale can also
be called a Newton meter because it is used to measure Newton (Figure 3.11).


Figure 3.10: Spring balance


Figure 3.11: Different types of spring balance
3.3
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

87
As mentioned earlier, a force is a vector quantity while force is a quantity which
is measured using the standard metric unit known as Newton. A Newton is
abbreviated as "N." How about one Newton (N) of force? One Newton (N) of
force is defined as the amount of force needed to accelerate one kilogram (kg) of
mass at a rate of one metre per second squared (ms
-2
). In simpler form:

1 Newton = 1 kgm/sec
2


Force = Mass times acceleration (F = ma)

Where m = mass and a = acceleration

What do you think happens to a force when the weight of object acting on the
spring is increased? Yes, the magnitude of the force will be increased. The force
of gravity acting on an object is the weight. We can measure the gravitational
force acting on an object by using a spring balance. Look at the example in Figure
3.12 which shows a spring that is extended by a load.

Example 3.1:
Let us calculate the value of P (in centimetres) when a load of 140 g is attached to
a spring balance (Figure 3.12).


Figure 3.12: Spring balance extended by a load



X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
88
Solution:
From the diagram, we can see that when 40g of load is attached to the hook, the
spring extends by 2cm. Since force is proportionate to the mass of the load:

140 P



2
= 7cm
40


We learnt earlier that there are four types of forces. Can you recall them? These
are magnetic, gravitational, electrostatic and frictional. Now, let us look at the
magnitude of frictional force. Do you think different types of surfaces affect the
magnitude of frictional force? I am sure most of us will say yes to the question.
Let us verify this statement by doing an experiment.

Let us say that our hypothesis is that different types of surfaces have different
magnitudes of frictional force. We also hypothesise that the rougher the surface,
the greater the frictional force.

We are going to use four different types of surfaces. We call this our manipulated
variables. Our constant variables will be the mass of the wooden block used. The
force exerted on the wooden block will be the same.

We will then observe the magnitude of the frictional force on each type of surface
used. Let us begin the experiment to prove our hypotheses.
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

89


The area of contact does not affect the magnitude of the frictional force. Thus, we
can conclude that the magnitude of frictional force depends on the nature of the
contact surfaces.

Experiment 3.2

Objective: To verify whether different types of surfaces affect the magnitude
of frictional force.

Procedure:
(a) Place a wooden block with its broader surface resting on a table.
(b) Attach the block to the spring balance, just like in the Figure 3.13 below.


Figure 3.13: Block attached to the spring balance

(c) Pull the spring balance horizontally across the table until the wooden
block begins to move.
(d) Record the reading of the spring balance when the block begins to
move.
(e) Repeat the procedure by pulling:
(i) The broader surface of the wooden block on a piece of sandpaper.
(ii) The broader surface of the wooden block on a smooth sheet of
glass.
(iii) The narrow surface of the wooden block across the table.

Results:
Your results would show that the rougher the surface, the greater the
frictional force between them.
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
90
Are you aware that there are many natural phenomena occurring around us?
They are closely related to the force of gravity. Why does an object fall to the
ground if you drop it from a tall building? When you throw an object into the
sky, why does it fall back to the Earth?
3.3.2 Principle of Spring Balance
Before we look at the principle of spring balance, let us look at its definition first.
The spring scale apparatus is simply a spring fixed at one end with a hook
attached to an object at the other (Figure 3.14).


Figure 3.14: A spring scale apparatus

Do you know how a spring balance works? It works by following Hookes Law,
which states that the force needed to extend a spring is proportional to the
distance that spring is extended from its rest position. This balance measures
weight or force by how far a spring moves. The scale is designed to read weights
correctly when they are hanging straight down.

TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

91
Let us look at how a spring balance works. Look at the pointer on the spring
balance in the previous Figure 3.14. It gives the reading of the magnitude or
force. When you attach an object to the hook, it will pull the spring and stretch it.
Now, the extension of the spring depends on the weight of the load or object you
attached to the spring. The weight of the object exerts a force on the spring. The
greater the force is, the more the spring will stretch. Therefore, the weight of the
object is the force of gravity acting on that object.

In physics, a force is a quantity that produces a change in the size, shape or
motion of a body. Commonly called a push or pull, force is a vector quantity.
What is meant by vector quantity?



To fully describe the force acting upon an object, you must describe both the
magnitude (size or numerical value) and the direction. Thus, 10 Newton is not a
full description of the force acting upon an object.

In contrast, 10 Newton downwards is a complete description of the force acting
upon an object; both the magnitude (10 Newton) and the direction (downwards)
are given.

However, you must bear in mind a factor which influences the use of the spring
balance. The spring balance must be in a good state of repair to function
correctly. Figure 3.15 shows you an example of how to use a spring balance to
measure force in a lab.

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
92

Figure 3.15: Using a spring balance to measure force

GRAVITY
All objects are held to the surface of the Earth due to the force of gravity. Without
it, the spinning of the Earth will send the objects floating off into outer space.
Gravitational pull causes objects to be pulled towards the centre of the Earth. The
gravitational attraction of the moon and the sun on the Earth and its oceans also
cause the ocean tides.

3.4
Let us use the spring balance. Follow these steps:
(a) Set up the apparatus as in Figure 3.15.
(b) Record the initial reading of the spring balance.
(c) Attach a 500 g weight on the spring balance.
(d) Record the reading of the spring balance.
(e) Repeat the process by replacing the weight with a book, a
stopwatch, a beaker, a measuring cylinder and a ruler.
(f) Record the readings.
(g) Write down your conclusion.
ACTIVITY 3.6
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

93
In general, gravitation is a force that causes objects to pull them towards one
another. The term gravitation refers to force in general, while the term gravity
refers to the Earth's gravitational pull. Although this section only deals with
gravitational force from Earth, we should be aware that gravitation can also be
found on other planets in our solar system including the sun.

Gravitational force keeps the Earth and other planets of the solar system in orbit
around the sun. The Earth, as a planet, also has its own gravitational force that
keeps the moon in orbit around the Earth.





When an object falls freely towards the Earth, there is constant acceleration. The
speed of the object falling freely near the Earths surface increases by about 9.8ms
-2
.
Although the value of gravitational acceleration is generally about 9.8ms
-2
, the g
values can more or less vary in certain places around the world. Table 3.3 shows you
some examples of different gravitational accelerations in several cities around the
world.

TRAVELLING INTO OUTER SPACE

Travelling in outer space is the most critical obstacle. This is due to the
presence of the gravitation of the Earth. A vehicle that is supposed to travel
into outer space must be able not only to transport but also to move away
from the Earth; that is against the force of gravity.
WHICH PLACE HAS A STRONGER STRENGTH OF GRAVITY?

Depending on the location, the strength of gravity is not the same at all points
on the Earth. The matter that determines the strength of gravity at any given
place is the distance from the centre of the Earth. Consider the distance of an
object from the centre of the Earth. Any object, for example, a house at the
seashore, is at a lower elevation than one in the mountains or higher
elevation. This means that it is closer to the centre of the Earth. Therefore, the
strength of the gravity is stronger at the seaside house than at the mountain
house.
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
94
Table 3.3: The Gravitational Acceleration in Several Cities
City Gravitational Acceleration (ms
-2
)
Auckland 9.799
Buenos Aires 9.797
Chicago 9.803
Istanbul 9.808
Helsinki 9.819
Kuwait 9.793
Lisbon 9.801
Mexico City 9.779
Paris 9.809
Rome 9.803
Sydney 9.797
Tokyo 9.798


Early Idea about Gravity
In the mid-16th century, a Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, had
proposed a heliocentric or sun-centred system. He believed that the planets
moved in circles around the sun. At the beginning of the 17th century, the
Italian physicist and astronomer, Galileo Galilei, agreed with this cosmology
theory proposed by Copernicus.
However, Galileo believed that the planets moved in circles because this
motion was the natural path of a body with no forces acting on it. He saw no
connection between the force behind planetary motion and gravitation on the
Earth. Galileo also theorised that all objects fall towards the Earth with the
same acceleration when gravity is the only force acting on them, regardless of
their weight, size or shape.
In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, based on observations without
telescope, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and his student, the German
astronomer Johannes Kepler, found that planets did not move in circles but in
ellipse. In 1609, using a telescope, Galileo observed that the moons orbited the
planet Jupiter, a fact that could not reasonably fit into an Earth-centred model
of the heavens.
In the late 17th century, Isaac Newton developed a theory of gravitation that
encompassed the attraction of objects on the earth and planetary motion.
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

95




If the Earth is Round like a Ball, Why Aren't We Standing at Odd Angles
Around it?
Well, the fact is, we are all standing at odd angles around the Earth. It just
does not feel like it because of the force called gravity. You are pulling on the
Earth just as hard as it is pulling on you!
However, since your weight is much less than the Earth, you do not affect its
motion at all. However, the Earth has a big pull on you. This pull is what
keeps all of us from flying off into space. Every object pulls towards its
centre. No matter where we are, when we are standing, the force of gravity
points away from our feet into the Earth.
So, if you visit someone on the opposite side of the world, the gravitational
force on you will be in the opposite direction of that which is on your parents,
who are still at home. So, we really are standing at odd angles. When
astronauts go into outer space, they can float because they feel less of a pull
from Earth.
The marble and the feather

The weight of an object is affected by the pull of the Earths gravity on the
object. In other words, the weight of an object is equal to the mass of the
object multiplied by the acceleration due to Earths gravity. All objects
which are in freely falling condition will accelerate in the same manner
regardless of their weight, size or shape. When we apply this principle in
real life, it is predicted that a marble and a feather will both fall at 9.8ms
-2

when the pull of gravity is the only force acting on them.

However, this principle is difficult to be applied or observed in daily life.
It has been found that a feather falls more slowly than a marble. Discuss
and find out more about this unique phenomenon.
ACTIVITY 3.7
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
96
WORK, POWER, ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY
Now we come to the subtopic which focuses on work, power, energy and
efficiency.
3.5.1 Work
The word work has a variety of meaning in everyday language. In everyday life,
it refers to any kind of mental or physical activities. But in physics, work is
described as what is accomplished by the action of a force when it acts on an
object when the object moves through a distance.

Specifically, the work done on an object by a constant force (in both magnitude
and direction) is defined as the product of the magnitude of the displacement
times the component of force parallel to the displacement, as shown in Figure
3.16.


Figure 3.16: Force that produces work

W = F x d
where W = work done
F = force parallel to the displacement
d = displacement
The means that no matter how big the force exerted on the object, there will be no
work done if the object does not move! Consider the case when the motion and
the force are not in the same direction (Figure 3.17).

3.5
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

97

Figure 3.17: Examples where no work is done

You will have to find the component of force which is parallel to the direction of
motion. Using trigonometry, the force parallel to the direction of motion is F cos
, so the work done now is

W = F cos x d

or

W = Fd cos

If a man is pulling a box along the floor at an angle of 38, the box will slide on
floor and the direction of movement is parallel to the floor (Figure 3.18).


Figure 3.18: A man pulling a box along a floor

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
98
If we have to calculate the work done by the man pulling the box, we have to
find the component of force which is parallel to the floor, which is 450 cos 38.

For the case of the man carrying a heavy box (previous Figure 3.17b), the
direction of force is perpendicular (90) to the direction of movement, so the work
done is F u d cos 90 = 0. So the work done is zero even though the man is
carrying a very heavy load.
3.5.2 Unit and Calculation of Work
Now we come to the unit and calculation of work.


1 joule (J) = 1 Newton (N) x 1 metre (m)
= 1 Newton metre (Nm)
In other words,
Let us look at some examples.

Example 3.2:
A father lifted up his son weighing 300 N to a vertical height of one metre. How
much work is done on the son?

Solution:
Work done = Force u Distance
= 300N u 1m
= 300J

The SI unit for work is joule (J) or Newton metre (Nm)
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

99
Example 3.3:
A Science teacher used up 300J of energy to push a trolley weighing 150N along
the corridor. Calculate the distance over which the trolley is moved.

Solution:
Force u Distance = Work done

Distance =
Work done 300J
= = 2m
Force 150N


Example 3.4:
A labourer does 1,500J of work when he pushes plough over a distance of six
metres. How much force does the labourer use?

Solution:
Force u Distance = Work done

Force =
Work done 150J
= = 250N
Distance 6m


Example 3.5:
A student drags a 60kg bag with a force of 50N along a rope which makes an
angle of 40 with the horizontal. The bag moves a distance of 3m. Find the work
done by the student.

Solution:
Component of force in the direction of motion, F = 50 cos 40 = 50 u 0.766 = 38.3N

Work done, W = 38.3N u 3m = 114.9J


X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
100

3.5.3 Power
Now, let us learn about power. Do you know what power stands for? When an
engine does work quickly, it is said to be operating at a high power. If it does
work slowly it is said to be operating at low power.
1. A spring balance is hooked to a 600g wooden block. It is pulled
at a constant speed over a distance of two metres. The reading of
the spring balance and the distance are recorded. Next, it was
dragged over a distance of three metres at the same speed. The
readings were also recorded. A 1,200g wooden block is then
dragged over a distance of two metres. The reading on the spring
balance is recorded. Based on the readings recorded, calculate the
work done and fill in the answers in the table below.

Activities
Force Used
(N)
Distance
Moved (m)
Work Done
600g block dragged over
2m
3 2

600g block dragged over
3m
3 3

1,200g block dragged over
2m
6 2


2. Indicate whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE.
(a) More work is done when the 600g wooden block is dragged
over a distance of 3m compared with a distance of 2m.
(b) Less work is done when the 1,200g wooden block is dragged
over a distance of 2m when compared with the 600g weight
being dragged over the same distance.
(c) The greater the distance over which a load is moved, the
greater the amount of work.
(d) The heavier the load, the lesser the amount of work done.
SELF-CHECK 3.4
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

101

3.5.4 Unit and Calculation of Power
Let us look at a simple example to better understand power. Your brother, who is
bigger than you, might carry a box up a flight of stairs in 20 seconds.

However, you, being of smaller size than him, took 40 minutes to carry the same
box up the same flight of stairs. Both of you have done the same amount of work.
However, your brother did the work faster than you. Thus, he has used up more
power than you to get the work done.

The equation for the calculation of power is as follows:



From the equation, we can see that the faster the work is done, the greater is the
power. Power is measured in watts (W) or joules per second (Js
-1
).


One watt is one joule of work done in one second
1W = 1Js
-1
Power (watts) =


Work done joules
Time taken seconds

Power is defined as rate of energy transfer (work done per second) or energy
spent per second.
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
102


Let us look at some examples.

Example 3.6:
How much power is required by an engine to raise a 400N box to a height of 20m
in two minutes?

Solution:



u
u
u
Work done joules
Power watts =
Time taken seconds
Total force Distance
=
Time taken
400N 20m
=
2 60s
= 66.67W


Let us check out who has the most power by following these steps:

(a) Everyone should do this activity. Get your weight using the
weighing machine.
(b) Measure the vertical height of the stairs.
(c) Each student must walk quickly to the top of the stairs.
(d) Record the time taken for each student to reach the top of the stairs.
(e) Calculate the power of each student.

Who generates the most power to reach the top of the stairs? Does speed
affect power? Explain.
ACTIVITY 3.8
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

103
Example 3.7:
A student who weighs 500N runs up a flight of stairs which is seven metres high
in 50 seconds. How much power does the student use to run up to the top of the
stairs?

Solution:



u
u
Work done joules
Power watts =
Time taken seconds
Total force Distance
=
Time taken
500N 7m
=
50
= 70W


Example 3.8:
Calculate the time taken by a machine which uses 5,000W to lift a load weighing
2,000N to a vertical height of five metres.

Solution:




u
Work done joules
Power watts =
Time taken seconds
Work done
Time =
Power
2000N 5m
=
5000W
= 2s


X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
104


3.5.5 Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy

The energy of an object due to its motion is defined as kinetic energy. All moving
objects have kinetic energy. The faster an object moves, the more kinetic energy it
has. Can you think of some examples of objects that possess kinetic energy?

Suppose the object of mass m is moving with a velocity v. The kinetic energy of
the object, E
k
is

E
k
= mv
2


Did you know that an object has energy even though it is not moving? We call
this potential energy. Potential energy is the energy stored in an object because of
its position or its condition.

Potential energy is the energy of an object because of its higher position in the
gravitational field. Because of this, potential energy is also known as
gravitational potential energy. The higher the object is raised above the ground, h
the more gravitational potential energy it has.

The formula for gravitational potential energy is given by

E
p
= mgh


1. Define work. Name the two components of work.
2. State the units used for measuring force, distance and work done.
3. Give three examples of situations where work is done and three
examples of situations where work is not done.
4. A box of books with a mass of 10kg is lifted from the floor onto a
table at a height of 0.4m. Calculate the amount of work done.
5. Define power. State the units for energy, work and power.
6. A boy who weighs 450N can run up a flight of stairs of 20 steps, in
five seconds. Given that each step is 20cm high, how much power
does the boy use to run up the flight of stairs?
SELF-CHECK 3.5
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

105
If a mass of an object is m= 5kg, and the object is held stationary at a height h=4
m, the gravitational potential energy, Ep

E
p
= (5kg) (9.8 m s
-2
) (4m)
= 196J
3.5.6 Energy Conservation
When any object falls in the earths gravitational field, a small part of the energy
is used up to overcome the air resistance. This energy is dissipated or lost as heat.
Although energy may be transferred from one form to another, the total energy
in the system is always the same.



An example is an electric motor of a fan. If the electric motor is supplied with
100J of energy, maybe only 850J is transformed into mechanical energy. The
remaining 140J may have been transformed into heat energy and another 10J into
sound energy.

A simple example of the conservation of mechanical energy is a ball allowed to
fall from a height h as shown in Figure 3.19.


Figure 3.19: Object falls from rest
The principle of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created
or destroyed but can change from one form to another. The total energy is
thereby constant.
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
106
The instant it is dropped, it has maximum potential energy of mgh and as it falls,
the potential energy decreases as h decreases, but the kinetic energy increases to
compensate for the loss of energy. Thus the sum of two energies remains the
same.

Let us carry out an activity. Rub your palms together. What do you feel? I am
sure your palms feel warm. In this exercise, kinetic energy has converted to heat
energy. How about when you light a candle and wait for it to burn? What energy
changes have taken place?
3.5.7 Sources of Energy
There are various forms of energy. These forms of energy can come from sources
such as nuclear radioactive form, hot objects, vibrations of an object and many
more. Let us talk about specific examples. Heat energy is the energy released by a
hot object, chemical energy stored in living cells is converted to electrical energy,
elastic potential energy is the energy stored in an elastic object like the spring of a
motorcycle and sound energy can be the energy released by the sound of
vibrating objects.
3.5.8 Simple and Compound Machines
A machine is a tool that helps us to do work. It can change the amount or
direction of a force. They are considered simple because they used the simplest
mechanism to provide this change of leverage of the force. Technically there are
six classical simple machines that were defined by scientists during the
renaissance period. These machines include the inclined plane, lever, wedge,
wheel and axle, screw and pulley. The simple machine will contain devices and
mechanisms to change the force. These simple machines are used to create more
complicated machines and most machines can be decomposed and separated
into any of these six simple machines.

(a) Lever
A lever is a simple machine. A lever is a board or bar that rests on a turning
point. This turning point is called the fulcrum. An object that a lever moves
is called the load. The closer the object is to the fulcrum, the easier it is to
move. A hammer is a lever when it is used to pull a nail out of a piece of
wood. Examples of lever are:
(i) Bottle openers; and

(ii) Crow bar.
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

107
Figure 3.20 shows three types of levers, which are the first class lever,
second class lever and third class lever. Observe the positions of the load,
effort force and fulcrum in each of the cases.


Figure 3.20: Different classes of levers
(b) Inclined Plane
An inclined plane is a simple machine. It is a flat surface that is higher on one
end. You can use this machine to move an object to a lower or higher place.
Inclined planes make the work of moving things easier. You would need less
energy and force to move objects with an inclined plane. Examples of
inclined planes:
(i) Ramp;

(ii) Slanted road;

(iii) Path up a hill; and

(iv) Slide.

(c) Wheel and Axle
The wheel and axle is another simple machine. The axle is a rod that goes
through the wheel. This lets the wheel turn. It is easy to move things from
place to place with wheels and axles.


X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
108
Examples of wheels and axles:
(i) Cars;

(ii) Roller skates;

(iii) Wagons;

(iv) Door knobs; and

(v) Gears in watches, clocks, and bicycles.

(d) Screw
A screw is a simple machine that is made from another simple machine. It
is actually an inclined plane that winds around itself. A screw has ridges
and is not smooth like a nail. Some screws are used to lower and raise
things. They are also used to hold objects together.

Examples of screws:
(i) Jar lids;

(ii) Light bulbs;

(iii) Stools;

(iv) Clamps;

(v) Jacks;

(vi) Wrenches;

(vii) Key rings; and

(viii) Spiral staircase.

(e) Wedge
A wedge is a simple machine used to push two objects apart. A wedge is
made up of two inclined planes. These planes meet and form a sharp edge.
This edge can split things apart. Examples of wedges:
(i) Knives;

(ii) Axes;

(iii) Forks; and

(iv) Nails.
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

109
(f) Pulley
A pulley works by changing the direction of force, or the total force acting
on a system. There are two types of pulley, which are the stationary pulley
or the movable pulley. A pulley system is made up of a combination of
stationary of movable pulleys.

This simple machine is made up of a wheel and a rope. The rope fits on the
groove of the wheel. One part of the rope is attached to the load. When you
pull on one side of the pulley, the wheel turns and the load will move.
Pulleys let you move loads up, down, or sideways. Pulleys are good for
moving objects too hard to reach places. It also makes the work of moving
heavy loads a lot easier.

Examples of where pulleys can be used:
(i) Flag poles;

(ii) Clothes lines;

(iii) Sailboat;

(iv) Blinds; and

(v) Crane.

A compound machine is a machine which is made up of two or more
simple machine. In Figure 3.21, identify the simple machines that made up
the compound machines.


Figure 3.21: Examples of compound machines
X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
110
PRACTICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN THE
PRIMARY SCIENCE CURRICULUM
In the primary science curriculum, pupils studied force and motion (Year 6), by
doing simple activities like pushing, pulling, wringing, blowing and crushing to
study the effects of force on objects.

To study the distance travelled by different objects at different speeds at a given
time, pupils experiment by releasing trolleys at different heights and measure the
distance travelled at a given time. Pupils also conduct experiments to investigate
the movement of objects on different types of surfaces; smooth or rough surfaces
like glass, cardboard and sandpaper.



Force has a certain magnitude or size and acts in one direction. We measure
force in Newton.
There are many types of forces around us. Among them are frictional,
magnetic, gravitational and electrostatic.
There are six effects of force. Among them are to move a stationary object,
slow down or stop a moving object, change the speed of a moving object and
change the shape of an object.
A spring balance is used to measure force. It is a spring fixed at one end with
a hook attached to an object at the other. It works by Hookes Law, which
states that the force needed to extend a spring is proportional to the distance
that spring is extended from its rest position. The weight of an object on a
spring balance is the force of gravity acting on that object.
Force is a vector quantity. A vector quantity is a quantity which has both
magnitude and direction.
The magnitude (size or numerical value) and the direction describe the force
acting upon an object.
All objects are held to the surface of the Earth due to the force of gravity.
Gravitational pull causes objects to be pulled towards the centre of the Earth.
Work is done on an object when a force is applied to move the object in the
same direction as the direction of the force.
3.6
TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY W

111
Work has two components:
Force is applied on an object.
The object moves a certain distance.
Work equation is work (Joules) = Force (Newton) Distance (Metre). The SI
unit for work is joule (J) or Newton metre (Nm).
Power is the rate of change of energy. The unit for power is Watt (W).
Kinetic energy is defined as the energy of an object due to its motion. All
moving objects have kinetic energy.
Potential energy is the energy stored in an object because of its position or its
condition.
The principle of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created
or destroyed but can change from one form to another. The total energy is
thereby constant.
Machines make it easier for us to do work by changing the direction of the
force.
Examples of simple machines are lever, inclined plane, lever, wedge, wheel
and axle, screw and pulley.
A compound machine is made up of two or more simple machines.


Compound machine
Conservation of energy
Fiction
Force
Gravitational force
Lever
Power
Pulley
Screw
Simple machine
Spring balance
Wedge
Wheel and axle
Work

X TOPIC 3 FORCE AND ENERGY
112


Breithaupt, J. (2000). Understanding physics for advanced level. Cheltenham:
Nelson Thornes.

Epstein, L. C. (1985). Thinking physics is gedanken physics (2nd ed.).
San Francisco, CA: Insight Press.

Friend, M. (2005). Special education: Contemporary perspectives for school
professionals. Boston: Pearson Education.

Gargiulo, R. (2003). Special education in contemporary society: An introduction
to exceptionality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Giancoli, D. C. (1998). Physics: Principles with applications. New Jersey: Prentice
Hall.

Hallahan, D., & Kauffman, J. (2003). Exceptional children: Introduction to special
education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Heward, W. (2003). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Hewitt, P. G. (1998). Conceptual physics (8th ed.). Reading, MA: Addison-
Wesley.

Kranz, T. (n. d.). Simple machines learning. Retrieved from http://atlantis.coe.
uh.edu/archive/science/science_lessons/scienceles1/finalhome.htm

The Science Spot. (n. d.). Physics lesson plans. Retrieved from http://sciencespot.
net/Pages/classphys.html#Anchor7