Work, Energy, & Power


  • Define:
    • Mechanical Work
    • Energy
    • Kinetic Energy
    • Gravitational Potential Energy
    • Strain Energy
    • Power
  • Distinguish the differences between positive and negative work
  • Explain the relationship between mechanical work and energy

A pole vaulter uses the relationship between mechanical work and energy.

Work is the product of force and displacement.

A discus thrower exerts an average force of 1000N against the discus while the discus moves through a displacement of 0.6m in the direction of the force. How much work did the thrower do on the discus?

How much work does a weightlifter do?

Energy is the capacity to do work
  • Potential Energy
    • Gravitational Energy=-mgh
    • Strain Energy=0.5kΔx2
  • Kinetic Energy=0.5mv2
Energy transfer in trampolining

Why does a high jumper use a run-up?

Why did a shot putters starting postion change?
Old Shot Putters Starting Postion Jill Camarena, Shot Putter Starting Postion Nowadays


Work & energy in the javelin

Question: If a baseball pitcher wants to be able to pitch 100 mph, how much force should he train with (Assume he pushes the 0.15 kg ball through a displacement of 2.5 m during the pitch).

Conservation of Mechanical Energy
The total mechanical energy of an object is conserved if no external forces act on the object other than conservative forces (gravity, strain, electric, and magnetic).

Which of the following situations would have conservation of mechanical energy?
  • Diver in the air
  • Skater spinning on the ice
  • Hanglider
  • Gymnast in a giant swing

Pole Vaulting energy (men, women)

Power is the rate of doing work (measured in Watts)
P = U/t or P = F(v)

In a vertical jump test, a 60-kg student jumps 60 cm, whereas a 90-kg student jumps 45 cm. Assuming both jumpers applied force the ground for the same amount of time, which jumper was more powerful?