# WEEK 10: WORK AND ENERGY

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1 Name Date Partners OBJECTIVES WEEK 10: WORK AND ENERGY To extend the intuitive notion of work as physical effort to a formal mathematical definition of work, W, as a function of both the force on an object and its displacement. To develop an understanding of how the work done on an object by a force can be measured. To understand the concept of power as the rate at which work is done. To understand the concept of kinetic energy and its relationship to the net work done on an object as embodied in the work energy principle. OVERVIEW In your study of momentum in Week 9 you saw that while momentum is always conserved in collisions, apparently different outcomes are possible. For example, if two identical carts moving at the same speed collide head-on and stick together, they both end up at rest immediately after the collision. If they bounce off each other instead, not only do both carts move apart at the same speed but in some cases they can move at the same speed they had coming into the collision. A third possibility is that the two carts can explode as a result of springs being released (or explosives!) and move faster after the interaction than before. Two new concepts are useful in further studying various types of physical interactions work and energy. In this lab, you will begin the process of understanding the scientific definitions of work and energy, which in some cases are different from the way these words are used in everyday language. You will begin by comparing your intuitive, everyday understanding of work with its formal mathematical definition. You will first consider the work done on a small point-like object by a constant force. There are, however, many cases where the force is not constant. For example, the force exerted by a spring increases the more you stretch the spring. In this lab you will learn how to measure and calculate the work done by any force that acts on a moving object (even a force that changes with time). Often it is useful to know both the total amount of work that is done, and also the rate at which it is done. The rate at which work is done is known as the power. Energy (and the concept of conservation of energy, which we will explore in the next lab) is a powerful and useful concept in all the sciences. It is one of the more challenging concepts to understand. You will begin the study of energy in this lab by considering kinetic energy a type of energy that depends on the velocity of an object and to its mass. By comparing the change of an object s kinetic energy to the net work done on it, it is possible to understand the relationship between these two quantities in idealized situations. This relationship is known as the work energy principle. You will study a cart being pulled by the force applied by a spring. How much net work is done on the cart? What is the kinetic energy change of the cart? How is the change in kinetic energy related to the net work done on the cart by the spring? 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 1

2 INVESTIGATION 1: THE CONCEPTS OF PHYSICAL WORK AND POWER While you all have an everyday understanding of the word work as being related to expending effort, the actual physical definition is very precise, and there are situations where this precise scientific definition does not agree with the everyday use of the word. You will begin by looking at how to calculate the work done by constant forces, and then move on to consider forces that change with time. Let s begin with a prediction that considers choosing among potential real-life jobs. Prediction 1-1: Suppose you are president of the Load n Go Company. A local college has three jobs it needs to have done and it will allow your company to choose one before offering the other two jobs to rival companies. All three jobs pay the same total amount of money. Which one would you choose for your crew? Explain why. The following activities should help you to see whether your choice makes the most sense. You will need the following: motion software with this week s files force probe two bricks or two 1-kg masses low-friction cart smooth ramp or other level surface 2 3 m long which can be inclined meter stick protractor string 500-g mass Activity 1-1: Effort and Work Calculating Work 1. Lift a brick or a 1-kg mass at a slow, constant speed from the floor to a height of about 1 m. Repeat several times. Note the effort that is required. Repeat, this time lifting two bricks or two 1-kg masses 1 m. 2. Push a brick or a 1-kg mass 1 m along the floor at a constant speed. Repeat several times John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 2

3 Repeat, this time piling two bricks or two 1-kg masses on top of each other and pushing them 1 m. Question 1-1: In each case, lifting or pushing, why must you exert a force to move the object? Question 1-2: How much more effort does it take to lift or push two bricks or two 1-kg masses instead of one? 3. Lift a brick or a 1-kg mass with your hands at a slow, constant speed from the floor to a height of about 1 m. Repeat, this time lifting the brick or mass a distance of 2 m. 4. Push a brick or a 1-kg mass 1 m along the floor at a constant speed. Repeat, this time pushing the brick or mass a distance of 2 m. Question 1-3: How much more effort does it take to lift or push an object twice the distance? Question 1-4: If work were defined as effort, how would you say work depends on the force applied and on the distance moved? In physics, work is not simply effort. In fact, the physicist s definition of work is precise and mathematical. To have a full understanding of how work is defined in physics, we need to consider its definition for a very simple situation and then enrich it later to include more realistic situations. Note: All of the definitions of work in this unit apply only to very simple objects that can be idealized as point masses or are essentially rigid objects that don t deform appreciably when acted on by a force. The reason for limiting the definition to such objects is to avoid considering forces that cause the shape of an object to change or cause it to spin instead of changing the velocity or position of its center of mass. If a rigid object or point mass experiences a constant force along the same line as its motion, the work done by that force is defined as the product of the force and the displacement of the center of mass of the object. Thus, in this simple situation where the force and displacement lie along the same line W = Fx x where W represents the work done by the force, Fx is the force, and x is the displacement of the center of mass of the object along the x axis. Note that if the force and displacement (direction of motion) are in the same direction (i.e., both positive or both negative), the work done by the force is positive. On the other hand, a force acting in a direction opposite to displacement does negative work. For example, an opposing force that is acting to slow down a moving object is doing negative work. Question 1-5: Does this definition of work agree with the amount of effort you had to expend when you moved bricks or 1-kg masses under different conditions? Explain John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 3

4 Question 1-6: Does effort necessarily result in physical work? Suppose two people are in an evenly matched tug of war. They are obviously expending effort to pull on the rope, but according to the definition are they doing any physical work as defined above? Explain. Activity 1-2: Calculating Work When the Force and Displacement Lie Along the Same Line and When They Don t In this activity you will measure the force needed to pull a cart up an inclined ramp using a force probe. You will examine two situations. First you will exert a force parallel to the surface of the ramp, and then you will exert a force at an angle to the ramp. You will then be able to see how to calculate the work when the force and displacement are not in the same direction in such a way that the result makes physical sense. 1. Open the experiment file called File 1. This will enable you to display only force data on axes like those shown below for a time interval of 10 s. 2. Set up the force probe, cart, and ramp as shown in the diagram below. Attach a short string (about 15 cm) to the front of the cart and make a loop in its end for the force probe. Support one end of the ramp so that it is inclined to an angle of about John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 4

5 Reminder: Since the zero point of the force probe can change somewhat, it is important to always zero the probe with nothing pushing or pulling on the hook just before making any measurements. 3. Find the force needed to pull the cart up the ramp at a constant velocity. Hook the force probe through the loop in the string. Zero the force probe without pulling on the string. Begin graphing force vs. time as you pull the cart up the ramp slowly at a constant velocity. Pull the cart so that the string is always parallel to the ramp. Pull the cart a measured distance along the ramp, say 1.5 m. 4. Move your data so that the graph remains persistently displayed on the screen for comparison to the next graph. Then sketch your graph on the previous axes. Prediction 1-2: Suppose that the force is not exerted along the line of motion but is in some other direction. If you try to pull the cart up along the same ramp in the same way as before (again with a constant velocity), only this time with a force that is not parallel to the surface of the ramp, will the force probe measure the same force, a larger force, or a smaller force? Now test your prediction by measuring the force needed to pull the cart up along the ramp at a constant velocity, pulling at an angle of 60 to the surface of the ramp. 5. Zero the force probe. Attach it to the loop in the string as before. Measure the 60 angle with a protractor. Begin graphing force as you pull the cart up at a slow constant speed as shown in the diagram above. Be sure the cart does not lift off the surface of the ramp. 6. Sketch your graph on the previous axes. 7. Use the analysis and statistics features in the software to find the average (mean) force applied to the cart in both cases during the time intervals when the cart was moving with a constant velocity. Do not include the force to get the cart moving. Average force pulling parallel to surface: N Average force pulling at 60 to the surface: N Question 1-7: Was the average force measured by the force probe different when the cart was pulled at 60 to the surface than when the cart was pulled parallel to the surface? Did the result agree with your prediction? 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 5

6 Question 1-8: Did it seem to take more effort to move the cart when the force was inclined at an angle to the ramp s surface? Do you think that more physical work was done to move the cart over the same distance at the same slow constant speed? It is the force component parallel to the displacement that is included in the calculation of work. Thus, when the force and displacement are not parallel, the work is calculated by W = F x x = (F cos ) x Question 1-9: Do your observations support this equation as a reasonable way to calculate the work? Explain. Question 1-10: Based on all of your observations in this investigation, was your choice in Prediction 1-1 the best one? In other words, did you pick the job requiring the least physical work? Explain. Sometimes more than just the total physical work done is of interest. Often what is more important is the rate at which physical work is done. Average power, Pav, is defined as the ratio of the amount of work done, W, to the time interval, t, in which it is done, so that Pav = W t If work is measured in joules and time in seconds then the fundamental unit of power is the joule/second, and one joule/second is defined as one watt. A more traditional unit of power is the horsepower, which originally represented the rate at which a typical work horse could do physical work. It turns out that 1 horsepower (or hp) = 746 watt INVESTIGATION 2: WORK DONE BY CONSTANT AND NONCONSTANT FORCES Many forces in nature are not constant. A good example is the force exerted by a spring as you stretch it. In this investigation you will see how to calculate work and power when a nonconstant force acts on an object. You will start by looking at a somewhat different way of calculating the work done by a constant force by using the area under a graph of force vs. position. It turns out that, unlike the equations we have written down so far, which are only valid for constant forces, the method of finding the area under the graph will work for both constant and changing forces. You will need the following: motion software with this week s files force probe motion detector rod support for force probe 200-g and 500-g masses low-friction cart and flag 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 6

7 smooth ramp or other level surface 2 3 m long meter stick spring Activity 2-1: Work Done by a Constant Lifting Force In this activity you will measure the work done when you lift an object from the floor through a measured distance. You will use the force probe to measure the force, and the motion detector to measure distance. 1. The motion detector should be on the floor, pointing upward. 2. Open the experiment file called File 2. This will allow you to display velocity and force for 10 s on the axes that follow. 3. Zero the force probe with the hook pointing vertically downward. Then hang a 200-g mass from its end, and begin graphing while lifting the mass at a slow, constant speed through a distance of about 1.0 m starting at least 0.5 m above the motion detector. 4. When you have a set of graphs in which the mass was moving at a reasonably constant speed, sketch your graphs on the axes. Question 2-1: Did the force needed to move the mass depend on how high it was off the floor, or was it reasonably constant? 5. Change to a force vs. position graph. Sketch the graph below John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 7

8 7. Use the analysis and statistics features of the software to find the average force over the distance the mass was lifted. Record this force and distance below. Average force: N Distance lifted: m 8. Calculate the work done in lifting the mass. Show your calculation. Work done: J 9. Notice that force times distance is also the area of the rectangle under the force vs. position graph. Find the area under the curve directly by using the integration routine in the software. Area under force vs. position graph: J Question 2-2: Do the two calculations of the work seem to agree with each other? Explain. Comment: This activity has dealt with the constant force required to lift an object against the gravitational force at a constant speed. The area under the force vs. position curve always gives the correct value for work, even when the force is not constant. (If you have studied calculus you may have noticed that the method of calculating the work by finding the area under the force vs. position graph is the same as integrating the force with respect to position.) Activity 2-2: Work Done by a Nonconstant Spring Force In this extension you will measure the work done when you stretch a spring through a measured distance. First you will collect data for force applied by a stretched spring vs. distance the spring is stretched, and you will plot a graph of force vs. distance. Then, as in Activity 2-1, you will be able to calculate the work done by finding the area under this graph. 1. Set up the ramp, cart, flag, motion detector, force probe, and spring as shown in the diagram. Comment: We assume that the force measured by the force probe is the same as the force applied by the cart to the end of the spring. This is a consequence of Newton s third 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 8

9 law. 2. Be sure that the motion detector sees the cart over the whole distance of interest from the position where the spring is just unstretched to the position where it is stretched about 1.0 m. 3. Open the experiment file called File 3 to display the force vs. position axes that follow. 5. Zero the force probe with the spring hanging loosely. Then begin graphing force vs. position as the cart is moved slowly away from the motion detector until the spring is stretched about 1.0 m. (Keep your hand out of the way of the motion detector.) 6. Sketch your graph. Question E2-3: Compare this force vs. position graph to the one you got lifting the mass in Activity 2-1. Is the spring force a constant force? Describe any changes in the force as the spring is stretched. Question E2-4: Can you use the equation W = Fx x for calculating the work done by a nonconstant force like that produced by a spring? Explain. 7. Use the integration routine in the software to find the work done in stretching the spring. Area under force vs. position graph: J Investigation 3 will begin with an exploration of the definition of kinetic energy. Later, we will return to this method of measuring the area under the force vs. position graph to find the work, and we will compare the work done to changes in the kinetic energy. INVESTIGATION 3: KINETIC ENERGY AND THE WORK ENERGY PRINCIPLE What happens when you apply an external force to an object that is free to move and has no frictional forces on it? According to Newton s second law, it should experience an acceleration and end up moving with a different velocity. Can we relate the change in velocity of the object to the amount of work that is done on it? Consider a fairly simple situation. Suppose an object is lifted through a distance and then allowed to fall near the surface of the Earth. During the time it is falling it will 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 9

10 experience a constant force as a result of the attraction between the object and the Earth glibly called gravity or the force of gravity. You discovered how to find the work done by this force in Investigations 1 and 2. It is useful to define a new quantity called kinetic energy. You will see that as the object falls, its kinetic energy increases as a result of the work done by the gravitational force, and that, in fact, it increases by an amount exactly equal to the work done. First you need to find a reasonable definition for the kinetic energy. You will need the following: rubber ball rubber ball with about twice the mass Activity 3-1: Kinetic Energy In this activity you will explore the meaning of kinetic energy, and see how it is calculated. 1. Go outside or out in the hall and toss the less massive rubber ball back and forth, slowly at first and then faster. Then alternate between throwing slowly and faster. (Don t throw it so quickly that your partner is uncomfortable this is not a contest!) Notice how much effort it takes to throw it and to catch (stop) it when it is moving quickly or slowly. Question 3-1: Does the effort needed to stop the ball seem to change as its speed increases? How does it change? Explain. Question 3-2: Does the effort needed to throw the ball seem to change as its speed increases? How does it change? Explain. 2. Now throw the more massive ball. Toss the ball back and forth at the same speed. Then alternate between the heavier and lighter ball. Again notice how much effort it takes to throw and stop the ball. Question 3-3: Does the effort needed to stop the ball seem to change as its mass increases? How does it change? Explain. Question 3-4: Does the effort needed to throw the ball seem to change as its mass increases? How does it change? Explain. Comment: When an object moves, it possesses a form of energy because of the work that was done to start it moving. This energy is called kinetic energy. You should have discovered that the amount of kinetic energy increases with both mass and speed. In fact, the kinetic energy is defined as being proportional to the mass and the square of the speed. The mathematical formula is KE 1 2 mv2 The unit of kinetic energy is the joule (J), the same as the unit of work John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 10

11 Activity 3-2: Your Kinetic Energy In this activity you will examine how you can graph the kinetic energy of an object such as your body in real time. You will need the following: motion software with this week s files motion detector 1. Open the experiment file File 4. This will display velocity vs. time axes like the ones that follow. 2. To display kinetic energy you will need to know your mass in kilograms. Use the fact that 1.0 kg weighs 2.2 lb on Earth to find your mass in kilograms. Mass: kg 3. Configure the software with a new column calculated from one-half of your mass times the square of the velocity measured by the motion detector. Then both velocity and kinetic energy will be graphed in real time. 4. You are ready to record your velocity and kinetic energy as you walk. Begin graphing while walking away from the motion detector slowly, then more quickly, and then back toward the motion detector slowly and then more quickly. Sketch your graphs. Question 3-5: In what ways does the kinetic energy graph differ from the velocity graph? Is it possible to have negative kinetic energy? Explain. Question 3-6: Which would have a greater effect on the kinetic energy doubling your velocity or doubling your mass? Explain. When you apply a force to an object in the absence of friction, the object always 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 11

12 accelerates. The force does work and the kinetic energy of the object increases. Clearly, there is some relationship between the work done on the object and the change in its kinetic energy. Prediction 3-1: What do you think is the relationship between work done and change in kinetic energy of an object? Explain. In the next activity, you will examine this relationship, called the work energy principle, by doing work on a cart with a spring. You will need the following: support for motion detector with rod motion software with files 500-g mass smooth ramp or other level surface 2 3 m long force probe motion detector meter stick low-friction cart with flag spring Activity 3-3: Work Energy Principle 1. Set up the ramp, cart, flag, motion detector, force probe, and spring as shown in the diagram that follows. 2. Open the experiment file called File 5 to display the force and kinetic energy vs. position axes that follow. 3. Be sure that the motion detector sees the cart over the whole distance of interest from the position where the spring is stretched about 1.0 m to the position where it is just about unstretched. 4. Measure the mass of the cart and force probe, and enter this value in the formula for kinetic energy. Mass of cart and force probe: kg 5. Zero the force probe with the spring hanging loosely. Then pull the cart along the track so that the spring is stretched about 1.0 m from the unstretched position. 6. Begin graphing, and release the cart, allowing the spring to pull it back at least to the unstretched position. When you get a good set of graphs, sketch them John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 12

13 Note that the top graph displays the force applied by the spring on the cart vs. position. It is possible to find the work done by the spring force for the displacement of the cart between any two positions. This can be done by finding the area under the curve using the integration routine in the software, as in Activity 2-1 (and Extension 2-2). The kinetic energy of the cart can be found directly from the bottom graph for any position of the cart. 8. Find the change in kinetic energy of the cart after it is released from the initial position (where the kinetic energy is zero) to several different final positions. Use the analysis feature of the software. Also find the work done by the spring up to that position. Record these values of work and change in kinetic energy in Table 3-3. Also determine from your graph the position of the cart where it is released and record it in the table. Question 3-7: How does the work done on the cart by the spring compare to its change in kinetic energy? Does this agree with your prediction? Question 3-8: State the work energy principle that relates work to kinetic energy change in words for the cart and spring system that you have just examined Table 3-3 Position of cart (m) Work done (J) Change in kinetic energy (J) Initial: 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 13

14 Names Date POSTLAB FOR WEEK 10: WORK AND ENERGY 1. The block below is pulled a distance of 2.50 m. How much work is done by the force? Show your work and include units. Answer: 2. Now the force acts in a direction 30 above the horizontal as shown below. If the block is again moved 2.50 m, how much work is done by the force? Show your work and include units. Answer: 3. Two objects of different mass start from rest, are pulled by the same magnitude net force, and are moved through the same distance. The work done on object 1 is 500 J. After the force has pulled each object, object 1 moves twice as fast as object 2. Answer the following questions and show your work. How much work is done on object 2? What is the kinetic energy of object 1 after being pulled? What is the kinetic energy of object 2 after being pulled? 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 14

15 What is the ratio of the mass of object 1 to the mass of object 2? 4. An object of mass kg is lifted from the floor to a height of 3.50 m at a constant speed. How much work is done by the lifting force (include units)? How much work is done by the Earth on the object? What is the net work done on the object? What is the change in kinetic energy of the object? Are your results consistent with the work-energy principle? Explain. 5. If the object in Question 4 is released from rest after it is lifted, what is its kinetic energy just before it hits the floor? What is its velocity? Show your work and include units. Answers: Kinetic energy: Velocity: 6. A force acts on an object of mass kg. The force varies with position as 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 15

16 shown in the graph that follows. Find the work done by the force in moving the object from 0.40 m to 1.20 m. Explain your calculation and give units. Answer: 7. Assuming that there is no friction and that the object in Question 6 starts from rest at 0.40 m, what is the object s kinetic energy when it reaches 1.20 m? Show your calculation and give units. Answer: 8. What is the velocity of the object in Question 6 when it reaches 1.20 m? Show your calculation and give units. Answer: 1999 John Wiley & Sons. Portions of this material may have been modified locally. 16

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