Power versus Work

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Work is defined to be the product of force over the distance it is applied. In symbols, , where is the work, is the force, and is the distance.


Power, , is work per unit time, so , where is time.

This Demonstration calculates the work and power needed to lift a mass through a height in time . The darkness of the blue box indicates its mass. The distance is fixed to be and , the standard SI measurement for gravity. In this situation, Newton's second law, , where is acceleration, becomes . Substituting for in the first equation gives .


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



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