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General Physics 1

APHY 111
Work and Energy

Contents
3.1 The work of a constant force
3.2 The work done by a spring
3.3 Kinetic energy and the work-energy
theorem
3.4 Potential energy
3.5 Conservation of Mechanical energy
3.6 Mechanical energy with friction
3.7 General Problems
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3.1 The work of a constant force

Formally, work is the product of a constant force F
through a parallel displacement s.

Work is a scalar quantity

The unit of work is a joule (J)
1 joule = 1 newton . 1 meter
J=Nm

WF = FS
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components.

Only the component of the force parallel to the displacement contributes.

W = F|| s = F cos( ) s
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Work is an Energy Transfer

If the work is done on a system and it is positive,
energy is transferred to the system
If the work done on the system is negative,
energy is transferred from the system
If a system interacts with its environment, this
interaction can be described as a transfer of
energy across the system boundary
This will result in a change in the amount of energy
stored in the system
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Work Done by Multiple Forces

The total work is equal to the algebraic
sum of the work done by the individual
forces

Wnet = Wby individual forces

Remember work is a scalar, so this is the
algebraic sum

Example 1: Calculate the total work done on the above box. Take Fp=100 N,
m=20kg and =0.2.

3.2 Work Done Extending a Spring

The force is NOT
constant (it varies
with position)

F = kx (Hooke' s Law)
x

W = Fdx =
0

W0 x1 =

1 2
kx
2

1 2
1 2
kx1 W0 x 2 = kx2
2
2

Wx1 x2 =

1 2 1 2
kx2 kx1
2
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3.3 Kinetic energy and the work-energy

theorem
Kinetic Energy is the energy of a particle
due to its motion
Ekin = mv2
Ekin is the kinetic energy (or simply K)
m is the mass of the particle
v is the speed of the particle

A change in kinetic energy is one possible

result of doing work to transfer energy into
a system
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Kinetic Energy, cont

Relation between
work and K.E. for a
constant force:
W = F .x
W = (ma).x
v f 2 vi 2

W = (ma).
2a

1
1
2
2
W = mv f mvi = Ekin
2
2

W = Change in kinetic energy

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Work-Energy Theorem
The Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem states
W = Ekinf Ekini = Ekin
When work is done on a system and the only
change in the system is in its speed, the work
done by the net force equals the change in
kinetic energy of the system.
The speed of the system increases if the work done
on it is positive
The speed of the system decreases if the net work is
negative
Also valid for changes in rotational speed
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Example 2: A force of 100N acts on a box that was initially stationary for a
distance of 10m. If the mass of the box is 10kg what will be its speed after
10m?

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Example 3: A block of mass 5.00 kg is set into motion up an inclined plane with an initial
velocity of 8.00 m/s. There is a constant force of friction acting on the block. The block comes to
rest after travelling 3.00m. For this motion calculate
(a) the change in the kinetic energy of the block
(b) The change in the potential energy
(c) The coefficient of friction.
(d) Repeat the calculation using the work-energy theorem.

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3.4 Potential Energy

Potential energy is energy related to the
position of the different components of a
system.
The different components interact with each
other
Can be associated with only specific types of
forces

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Gravitational Potential Energy

The system is the Earth and
the book
Do work on the book by lifting
it slowly through a vertical
displacement

W = F .r
W = (mg )r
There is no change in kinetic
energy since the book starts
and ends at rest

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Gravitational Potential Energy, final

The quantity mgr is identified as the change in
gravitational potential energy Ug.
If we choose Ug=0 at the surface of the earth then we
can define the gravitational potential as

Ug=mgh, where h=height above ground

If h>0 the object is above the surface of the earth
If h<0 the object is below the surface of the earth
Units are joules (J)
Ug a scalar

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Elastic Potential Energy, cont

The work done in
changing a springs
length by x is called the
elastic potential energy of
the spring:
Us = kx2
The elastic potential
energy can be thought of
as the energy stored in
the deformed spring
The stored potential
energy can be converted
into kinetic energy

Us =

1 2
kx
2

Us = 0
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3.5 Conservation of Mechanical Energy

The sum of potential and kinetic energy is
called mechanical energy
Emech=K+U
K=kinetic energy U=potential energy
When the forces acting in a system are
conservative then the mechanical energy
is conserved:

K f + U f = Ki + U i

K f Ki = U i U f
K = U

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Example 4: A ball of mass m is dropped from a height h=10m above the ground.
(A) Neglecting air resistance, determine the speed of the ball when it hits the ground.
(B) Determine the speed of the ball when it is 1m above ground.

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Example 5: Use conservation of mechanical

energy to calculate the speed of an object after
is released from a spring that is compressed
by an amount x.

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3.7 Mechanical energy with friction.

The work done by friction in a system is
always negative. Friction is removing
mechanical energy (dissipating energy)
from the system.
The mechanical energy is not conserved
when friction is present.
Instead we have that the change in
mechanical energy equals the work done
by friction

Emech = Wfriction

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Example Block-spring System

Example 5:
The mass is attached to
a spring, the spring is
compressed and then
the mass is released
A constant friction force
acts
The block will be pushed
by the spring and move
off with some speed
Block and surface is the
system
The force of friction is
decreasing the total
mechanical energy
What is the velocity of block after is released?

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Exercise 1: A parachutist of mass 60 kg jumps out of a helicopter at an altitude of

800 m. Her parachute opens immediately and she lands on the ground with a
speed of 5 m/s.
(a) How much energy has been lost due to air friction in this jump?
(b) What is the average frictional force exerted on the parachutist during her fall?

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Exercise 2: A block of mass m = 4 kg is posed on a horizontal table in front of a

spring of stiffness k = 200 N/m. The other end of the spring is connected to a
fixed vertical wall. The coefficient of kinetic friction between the mass and the
table is = 0,3. The spring is suppressed by x1 = 30 cm with the mass
remaining in contact with it, then released free to move.
Calculate:
(a) The elastic potential energy of the compressed spring.
(b) The kinetic friction on the mass.
(c) The speed of the block when the spring reaches its natural length.
(d) The distance it moved further before it stopped.

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Exercise 3: A block of mass 5.00 kg is set into motion up an inclined plane with an initial velocity
of 8.00 m/s. There is a constant force of friction acting on the block. The block comes to rest after
travelling 3.00m. For this motion calculate
(a) the change in the kinetic energy of the block
(b) the change in the potential energy
(c) the force of friction and the coefficient of kinetic friction

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Exercise 4: A 10.0-kg block is released from point A as shown in the Figure. The track is
frictionless except for the portion between points B and C, which has a length of 6.00 m. The
block travels down the track, hits a spring of force constant 2250 N/m, and compresses the spring
0.300 m from its equilibrium position before coming to rest momentarily. Determine the
coefficient of kinetic friction between the block and the rough surface between B and C.

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Exercise 5: A bullet of mass m1 = 10 g moving with a speed u1 = 200 m/s hits on

a wall and passes through it. The bullet comes out of the wall with a speed
u2 = 150 m/s.
Find:
(a) The loss of energy E of the bullet.
(b) If the wall is 8 cm thick, what is the resistive force F the wall exerts on the
bullet assuming that it remains constant during its motion through the wall?

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Exercise 6. A spring with a spring constant of 500 N/m is compressed by 10 cm.

(a) What is the potential energy stored to the spring?
A box of mass 3.5 kg is placed in front of the above compressed spring.
(b) Find the speed that this object will gain after it is released.
(c) If on the box is exerted a constant force of friction equal to 5 N, for how long this
force must act in order to stop the body?

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Exercise 7: A body of mass m = 1 kg is dropped from a height h = 40 cm onto a

spring of constant k = 2000 N/m. Suppose that after the body collides with the
spring it remains on it. Using energy considerations, or otherwise, evaluate the
maximum compression of the spring.

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