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Work, Energy, Power Summary



The last unit we studied in AP Physics C was Work, Energy and Power. First we reviewed the concept of work and how it equal to force*displacement. In a calculus based physics class however Work is also equal to the integral of force with respect to displacement. This means that the area under a Force vs Displacement graph is equivalent to the work done on the object. We also learned about Hooke's law and how it describes the relationship between the force of a spring and displacement. The slope of a graph of force vs displacement represents the opposite of the spring constant (k) of the spring. From this the equation F= -kx was determined. Then we analyzed the work energy theorem which shows that work is equal to the change in kinetic energy. 

Kinetic energy is the energy of an object that is moving. Potential energy is stored energy that an object has the potential to use. In a closed system energy is conserved. The total energy of a system is equal to the potential energy plus the kinetic energy.

Power is a measure of the rate at which work is done, therefore power equals Work/time. From this we can also conclude that power is also equal to force*velocity. This unit will be helpful in many ways. It is an alternative to many kinematic problems and will also be helpful in other topics as well.

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