Work done by a force is the product of the forces and the distance moved in the direction of the force.
SI unit: joule (J) – the SI unit of energy.
1 J = 1 N m
Work done must be calculated by using the component of the force that is parallel to the direction of the displacement.
If the two directions are the same, work is done on the object and the objects gains energy.
If the two directions are opposite, then energy is lost through work done(typically as friction or air resistance)
Work done by a gas
Work done by a gas equals to the pressure it exerts over the cross-sectional area and the displacement the piston moves.
Gravitational potential energy
Work is done by you during lifting. Object gains height when work is done against gravity. Gravitational potential energy increases as an object moves to a higher ground.
Other forms of potential energy
There are many forms of potential energy. Some examples are below:
- Electrical potential energy – capacitor. A capacitor stores charge which provides the capacitor the ability to produce current. A battery does not store electrical potential energy. Instead, it is stored as chemical energy.
- Elastic potential energy – spring
- Chemical potential energy – food, battery. Usually, chemical energy allows the substance to burn for a period of time, such as most organic compounds.
- Nuclear energy – radioactive nuclei
Kinetic energy is the energy due to motion. A moving object contains kinetic energy. To derive the equation of kinetic energy, we first assume an object is at rest. A constant force does work on the object, causing it to accelerate.
Multiplying on both sides,
Hence, work done is converted into kinetic energy of .
Gravitational PE and Kinetic energy Transformation
When a high object falls to a lower height, the GPE is converted to KE. The increase in KE cause the object to increase in speed. The decrease in height should always be calculated based on the drop in vertical height.
Efficiency is the ratio of the useful output energy to the total input energy expressed as a percentage.
It is important for you to determine what makes the useful output energy in an energy transformation situation. Below are some situations of energy transformations. Suggest the useful output energy and the energy/energies that are lost.
- A luggage being delivered from the ground floor to the first floor.
- A man turning a generator to produce electricity.
- Water flowing through a hydroelectric damp.
- Wind flowing through a windmill.