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Chapter 7.

Work and Kinetic Energy

(2 lectures in total)

• Work Done by a Constant Force

• Kinetic Energy and the Work-Kinetic Energy
• Work Done by a Varying Force
• Power

Energy Approach to Problems
• The concept of energy is one of the most
important topics in science
• The energy approach to describing motion is
particularly useful when the force is not constant
* Note: In this case, our standard constant acceleration
kinematic equations do not apply

• Work is done on a system where an applied force
results in some net displacement
∗ Α force that results in no displacement does no work
* A displacement that results with no applied force has had
no work done (orbital motion, for example)


W = F d cos θ definition of work

d - the displacement of the point of application of the force

θ - is the angle between the force and the displacement vectors


W = F d cos θ definition of work

Units: N*m = Joule [J] = 1(kg*m/s2)*m= kg*m2/s2

[force] [displacement]

W = F d cos θ

* A force does no work on the object if the force does not

move through a displacement
* The work done by a force on a moving object is zero
when the force applied is perpendicular to the
displacement of its point of application (think about an
object in orbit) !cos 90 = 0

The Scalar Product of Two Vectors
• Our definition of work: W = F d cos θ is messy
because of the cosine factor
• What we are actually doing is performing an
operation with two vectors called the scalar

Scalar Product of Two Vectors
• The scalar product of two
vectors is written as
* It is also called the dot

∗ θ is the angle between A
and B

Scalar Product, cont
• The scalar product is commutative:

• The scalar product obeys the distributive law of


Dot Products of Unit Vectors

• î ⋅ î = ĵ ⋅ ĵ = k̂ ⋅ k̂ = 1
î ⋅ ĵ = î ⋅ k̂ = ĵ ⋅ k̂ = 0

• Dot product of orthogonal vectors is 0!

• Using component form with and :

Dot product / Work
• Why did we introduce the dot product?
• Because:
 
W = F ⋅d

• Work is a scalar quantity!!!! (Not a vector)

More About Work
• The sign of the work depends on the direction of
the displacement relative to the force
* Work is positive when the projection of F onto d is
in the same direction as the displacement
* Work is negative when the projection is in the opposite

More About Work
• When more than one force acts on an object:

Wtotal = W1 + W2 + .... = ∑ Wi
Wtotal = ( Ftotal cos θ ) d = Ftotal cos θ d

Work - Example

• The normal force, n, and

the gravitational force, mg,
do no work on the object
* cos θ = cos 90° = 0
• The force does do work
on the object
• There is a component along
the direction of motion

W = F d cos θ

Example: Pr. 12 p. 194
• Water skiers often ride to one side of the center
line of a boat, as shown in Figure. In this case, the
ski boat is traveling at 15 m/s and the tension in
the rope is 75 N. If the boat does 3500 J of work
on the skier in 50.0 m, what is the angle between
the tow rope and the center line of the boat?

Example: Pr. 13 p. 194
To keep her dog from running away while she talks
to a friend, Susan pulls gently on the dog’s leash
with a constant force given by
  
F = (2.2 N )x + (1.1N )y
How much work does she  do on the dog if its
displacement is (a) d = (0.25m)x
or Home!
  
(c) d = (−0.50m)x − (0.25m)y

Work Done by a Varying Force
 
• We know that for a constant force the work is just F ⋅ d
• But if the force is not constant in space we have a problem
• We will use an approach similar to that used to determine
net displacement given a time varying velocity!

Work Done by a Spring

• Calculate the work done on the block by the

spring as the block moves from xi = - xmax to xf
= 0:
W = [area] = 1/2 kx2
(Recall Hooks law F = - k x)
• Calculate the work done on the block by the
spring as the block moves from xi = 0 to xf =
xmax :
W = [area]= 1/2 k x2

• The total work done as the block

moves from –xmax to xmax is zero

Work Done by a Spring
• The work done for an arbitrary
displacement is given by:
1 2 1 2
Ws = kxi − kx f
2 2
• For any motion that results in no net
displacement (xi = xf) there is no work
• More intriguing, you get the same result if
the displacement is symmetric (xi = -xf).

Work & Kinetic Energy:
• A force F = 10 N pushes a box across a frictionless
floor for a distance ∆ x = 5 m. The speed of the
box is v1 before the push and v2 after the push.

v1 v2


Work & Kinetic Energy...
• Since the force F is constant, acceleration a will be
constant. We have shown that for constant a:
* v22 - v12 = 2a(x2-x1) = 2a∆ x.
* multiply by 1/2m: /2mv22 - 1/2mv12 = ma∆ x

* But F = ma 1
/2mv22 - 1/2mv12 = F∆ x
* F∆ x = W 1
/2mv22 - 1/2mv12 = W

v1 v2
m a

∆x 21
Kinetic Energy and the
Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem

• So we have:
1 2 1 2
Wnet = mv f − mvi
2 2

• That is, the work done by the net force on a particle of mass m is
equal to the difference between the initial and final values of a
1 2

Kinetic Energy and the Work-
Kinetic Energy Theorem
• The quantity mvis2 so important that we give it a special name.
• The kinetic energy K of an object of mass m moving with a speed v

1 2
K ≡ mv
• Kinetic energy is the energy2of a particle due to its motion.
• Kinetic energy is a scalar and has the same units as work (Joules)

Kinetic Energy and the Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem

• A change in kinetic energy is one possible result

of doing work to transfer energy into a system.
• If the net work done on a particle is positive, the
speed (and hence the kinetic energy) of the
particle increases.
• If the net work done on a particle is negative, the
speed (and hence the kinetic energy) of the object

Kinetic Energy and the Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem
• The equation relating work and kinetic energy is often written in the form:
Wnet = Kf – Ki = ∆ K

• This result is known as the Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem:

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.

• Important: The Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem applies even if the force varies.

Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem – Example
• A 6.00 kg block initially at rest
is being pulled to the right
along a horizontal frictionless
surface by a constant,
horizontal force F of magnitude
12.0 N as shown. Find the
speed of the block after it has
moved 3.00 m.

Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem – Example
• Three external forces interact
with the block.
• The normal and gravitational
forces do no work since they
are perpendicular to the
direction of the displacement.
• There is no friction and so
resultant external force is F.

Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem – Example

• The work done by the force F

WF = F ∆ x = (12.0 N)(3.00) m
= 36.0 J
• Apply Work-Kinetic Energy
1 2 Exercise: Find the acceleration of the
Wnet = WF = K f − K i = mv − 0 block and determine its final speed
2 using the constant acceleration
kinematic equations.

2Wnet 2(36.0 J ) Answer: a = 2.0 m/s2, vf = 3.46 m/s

vf = = = 3.46 m / s
m 6.00kg

Example Pr.18-19 p.194
• A 0.21-kg pine cone falls 14 m to the ground,
where it lands with a speed of 13 m/s. (a) With
what speed would the pine cone have landed if
there had been no air resistance? (b) Did air
resistance do positive work, negative work, or
zero work on the pine cone? Explain.
• In the previous problem, (a) how much work was
done on the pine cone by air resistance? (b) What
was the average force of air resistance exerted on
the pine cone?

• It is also interesting to know the rate at which energy is
• The time rate of energy transfer is called power
• If an external force is applied to an object and if the work
done by this force is W in the time interval Δt, the average
power during this interval is defined as

Units of Power
• The SI unit of power is called the Watt
* 1 Watt = 1 joule / second = 1 kg . m2 / s2
• The common unit of power is the horsepower
* 1 hp =550 ft .lb/s = 746 W
• In fact the rate at which a horse could do work!
• The unit of energy that appears on your household
electricity bill is defined in terms of the Watt:
* 1 kWh = (1000 W)(3600 s) = 3.6 x106 J
* See the electricity meter on your house or your
electricity bill!

These sorts of constructions are an abuse of the SI system

• A certain car can accelerate from rest to the speed
v in T seconds. If the power output of the car
remains constant, (a) how long does it take for the
car to accelerate from v to 2v? (b) How fast is the
car moving at 2T seconds after starting? (home)