Mechanical Work

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See the calculation of work done moving an object. Work is equal to the force exerted on an object in the direction of motion times the displacement . The force is the projection on the axis of a force that makes an angle with the object. No work is performed if the displacement is zero, even when there is a force. Remember that the unit for work is the joule (J), equivalent to a newton-meter.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The general definition of work is given by the line integral


where is the path and the displacement vector.

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