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Work and Energy - Scientific Conception of Work

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Scientific concept of work:

  • To understand the way we view work and define work from the point of view of science, let us consider some situations:
  • Push a pebble lying on a surface. The pebble moves through a distance. You exerted a force on the pebble and the pebble got displaced. In this situation work is done.
  • A girl pulls a trolley and the trolley moves through a distance. The girl has exerted a force on the trolley and it is displaced. Therefore, work is done.
  • Lift a book through a height. To do this you must apply a force. The book rises up. There is a force applied on the book and the book has moved. Hence, work is done.

A closer look at the above situations reveals that two conditions need to be satisfied for work to be done:

(i) a force should act on an object, and

(ii) the object must be displaced.

If any one of the above conditions does not exist, work is not done. This is the way we view work in science.

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