Sunday, 1 July 2018


Work has a specific definition in physics. Work is done when a force is exerted on an object, and the object moves from one place to another. Work is the result of a force, acting over a certain distance. This distance is called the displacement of the object.

If the force F, and the displacement d, are in the same direction, then the work W is given by the formula,

W = Fd

The work is the product of the force and the displacement. In SI (international system) units, the unit of force is the Newton (N), and the unit of distance or displacement is the meter (m). Therefore, the unit of work can be expressed as a Newton-meter, N∙m. This is also known as a Joule, J. The Newton is a compound unit, and so a Joule is also equal to,

The equation W = Fd depends on the force and the displacement being in the same direction. There are many situations in which their directions are different, for example, a person pushing on a box close to the ground. A component of the force the person applies is directed down, even though the resulting direction of the box is forward. In a case like this, only the component of the force that is along the path of the box's displacement contributes to the work done. If we treat the force and the displacement as vectors, the work can be found by using the dot product (also known as the scalar product). 

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