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Experiment 4: Work, Power and Energy

Laboratory Report
Group 5
Diaz, Louise, Don, Ma. Katherine Noelle, Duque, Maria Socorro, Galotera, Ayanna
Department of Biological Science
University of Santo Tomas, Espaa , Manila Philippines
The overall focus of this
experiment expressed the relationship of
work, power and energy. Implications on
how acceleration due the gravity could
affect was shown in the two activities.
For the first activity the motion of going
up and down the stairs was demonstrated
how gravity can influence its work as
well as the power output. For the second
activity, a motion detector was used.
The computed work and power showed
that group member 2 got the highest
power output, followed by group
member 3,4,1 for both going up and
down the stairs.

motion while potential energy is the

storage of energy as the result of its
position. [1].

1. Introduction

Work is described as a scalar quantity

that involves the activity of force and
displacement [2]. This can be positive,
negative or zero. When a particle
undergoes a displacement, it speeds up if
W>0, slows down if W<0 and maintains
the same speed if W=0 [2]. In activity 1,
work is computed by using the formula,

Work is defined as force times a

distance. This means that when the
object moves because of an applied
force, it is doing work. Work is
measured in Joules and it is a vector
quantity with both magnitude and
direction. On the other hand, energy, is
defined as the ability to do work, while
power is the amount of work done per
elapse or time [1].
In addition, mechanical energy, is scalar
quantity having both kinetic and
gravitational potential energy. The
difference between the two is due to
their energy in terms of the position and
motion. Kinetic energy is the amount of
work that object can do in relation to its

The objectives of the experiment are as

To demonstrate conservation of
mechanical energy
To measure change in kinetic and
potential energies as a ball was
move in free fall
To determine power output when
going up and downstairs (second
to third floor)
2. Theory

W =FdFdcos

Where F is force and d is the distance or

displacement. The SI unit for work (WI
is Joules (J). The 2nd formula is used if
the angle between the force and this
displacement is given. There are three
scenarios that may explained fully the
used of [3].

Scenario A: A force acts rightward upon

an object as it is displaced rightward
where force and displacement will
exhibit the same direction resulting to 0
angle between F and d.
Scenario B: A force acts leftward upon
an object as it is displaced rightward
where force and displacement will
exhibit an opposite direction resulting to
180o angle between F and d.
Scenario C: A force acts upward upon
an object as it is displaced rightward
where force and displacement will
exhibit a perpendicular position resulting
to 90o angle between F and d.
After we compute the work, we may
now get the amount of power used.
Power describes as the time rate of doing
work. This is computed by using the


Where W is work (J) and t is time (s).

The SI unit for power (P) is Watts (W).
Energy can be in two states: potential
energy or kinetic energy. It can be
transferred from one form (potential
energy) to another (kinetic energy) [2].
Kinetic energy describes as the amount
of work required to accelerate the object
from rest to speed [2]. This is computed
by using the following formula:
KE= m v
Where m is the mass of the object
and v is the speed of the object. The SI
unitof kinetic energy (KE) is in Joules

While potential energy describes as the

stored energy associated with the
position of an object [2]. Specifically, in
this activity, we are more concerned on
the potential energy associated with a
bodys weight and its height above the
ground. This kind of potential energy is
called gravitational potential energy [2].
This can be computed by using the
PE = mgh
Where m is the mass of the object, g
is the gravity (9.8 m/s) and h is the
height of the place where the object
resides. The SI unit of potential energy
(PE) is also in Joules (J).
In addition, the sum total of energy
would yield,
E=PE+ KE( mgh )+( m v 2)
This is also called as total mechanical
energy of the system where it is constant
during the motion of the system [2]..
This formula leads to the general
statement of law of conservation of
energy. Law of conservation of energy
states that energy is neither created nor
destroyed [2].
3. Methodology
The experiment was divided into two
Activity 1: Power
The first thing the group did is to
determine the weight of each of the
members. The main task was to time
each member going up and down the
stairs (second to third floor). Vertical
distance (h) was measured using a meter
stick to measure the length from the

second to the third floor. Specifically, the

heights of 3rd floor to 2nd floor was
measured by getting the height/distance
of the vertical line of each step then
multiply it with the number of stairs
used. The work done by gravity was
computed for each of the member who
did the activity. After computing the
work for each member, power output
was then calculated.
Activity 2: Energy of a Tossed Ball
(Physics with Computers)
Prediction and a sketched graphed of
potential energy versus time of ball
thrown vertically up from height of 50
cm was done. Same procedure was done
with the graph of kinetic energy versus
time of ball. A motion detector called
DIG/SONICI channel was used. The ball
was held directly above and 50.0 cm
from the motion detector. The ball was
tossed straight up once the motion
detector begins. Using the logger Pro,
Potential and kinetic energy versus time
graph as well as Total mechanical energy
versus time graph was determined.
These graphs were to compare with the
predicted graphs.
4. Results and Discussion
Activity 1: Power
Table 1. Comparison of power output
between members of the group in
going up and down the stairs.
Vertical distance between second floor
and third floor= 5.13m
Weight (N)
Work in
going up (J)
Time to go
up (s)
output in

7.30 s



8.14 s

8.20 s







going up
Work in
going down
Time to go
down (s)
output in
going down





6.50 s

7.15 s

7.09 s

6.14 s

386.7 J

583.6 J

402.9 J

352.1 J

Based on the results from the table,

it is evident that time is inversely
proportional to power since more power
is needed to be exerted by a body as it
finishes a task at a faster time. Also,
weight has a great effect on the values of
work and power exerted by a body.
Member 4 had the lowest weight
followed by member 1, 3 and 2 in
increasing order. In relation to weight
and force, member 4 exhibited the least
amount of work while member 2 did the
highest amount of work. The value of
work going up is negative because of the
formula: PE=mgh. As the body moves
farther from the ground, it has a higher
negative value due to gravity (-9.8 m/s).
Time to go down the stairs is faster than
going up due to gravity. Because of this,
greater power was exerted by member 2
as compared to member 1, in relation to
time and all other factors that have an
influence on it.
The values presented on the table
show us that power varies directly with
force, as it is indirectly proportional with
time. Given that W is equal to force
times distance, in this case, the value of
work changes with weight and the
distance between second and third floor.

7.47 s

Activity 2:Energy of a Tossed Ball

(Physics with Computer)

Figure 3: Motion versus time graph

Figure 1: The black line represents the

position versus time; The Blue
represents the motion versus time;
The red represents the total
mechanical energy versus time graph.
Predicted graphs:

Figure 4: Total Mechanical Energy

versus time graph

Figure 2: Position versus time graph

Figure 1 shows the relationship of

potential energy, kinetic energy and
total mechanical energy inputted by a
body, in a graphical form. Graph of
Figure 2 presents a downward
parabola of potential energy, with
respect to position and time. As a
body reaches the maximum height,
its potential energy is at its
maximum since the body at rest at
that point in time. On the other hand,
Figure 3 shows an upward parabola
with respect to position and time.
Kinetic energy is initially at
maximum value. When it is
converted to potential energy at
maximum height, kinetic energy is
zero. It again increases with respect

to speed as it goes down to the

This justifies the relationship
between potential energy and kinetic
energy that is; they are indirectly
related to each other. The total
mechanical energy is the sum of the
values of potential and kinetic
energies of a body. Because of the
Conservation of Mechanical Energy
principle, the mechanical energy of a
(isolated) system remains constant in
time and so it displays a horizontal
line on the graph.
5. Conclusion
The proponents of this experiment were
able to determine the power output when
going up and down the stairs as well
correlate it with the concept of force,
work and time. Gravity has an influence
on them and they are all interconnected
with each other. The relationship of force
and work are directly proportional,
however, power and time shows
otherwise. The relation among potential
energy, kinetic energy and total
mechanical energy of a body, using the
position vs. time graphs as presented
above. Total mechanical energy of a
system is conserved as long as friction
and other non-conservative forces do not
govern it.
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

Work is done on how you do a

certain thing. As said earlier, it is a
vector quantity thus having both
magnitude and direction. Magnitude
of the work done going upstairs and
downstairs are the same. Meaning
regardless of the direction, the output
of magnitude is the same. However,
Work done going upstairs produces a
negative work since its gravitational
force is against the motion. While
work done going downstairs is a
positive work since, it has the same
direction with the gravitational force.
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?
From the point of view of
physics, no there is no connection
since same amount of work was
done. Meaning either way, the
professor, goes up the stairs from the
ground to the third floor. However, if
sufficient data will be provided, the
amount of power output exerted by
the professor could be calculated and
3. It is 5 minutes before your 7:00AM
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 and the fourth
floor is 12m and that you weigh
Let us compare the time it takes
to walk and run by using the
following derivation to get the time.
The time it takes to walk is computed
(750 N)(12 m)
15 W
t=600 seconds
While the time it takes to run is
computed by,
(750 N)(12 m)
20 W
t=450 seconds
Therefore, based on the result,
running or walking will not be
helpful and you will be marked as
late. However, you will arrive faster
when you run than you walk.
4. An object is thrown vertically up.
Neglecting air resistance, how is

the change in the potential energy

of the object related to the change
in its kinetic energy.
When you throw a ball upward, it is
moving at maximum speed. Given the
KE= m v , it has maximum kinetic
energy with minimum potential energy
(inversely proportional). As the ball
reaches the maximum height from the
ground, it slows down and stops for an
instant. Hence, kinetic energy changes to
potential energy, rendering
along maximum potential energy.
7. References
[1] Cutnell, J. D. & Johnson, K. W.
(2012) Physics (9th ed.). USA: John
Wiley & Sons, Inc
[2] Freedman, R. A., Ford, L. & Young,
H.D. (2009). University Physics with
Modern Physics (12th ed.). Singapore:
Pearson Education, Inc.
[3] physcisclassrom. (2015). Work,
Energy, and Power. Retrieved by