When we think about what work is, most people would think of it as something that is required of us in order to survive. Work is necessary for the continuation of life. However, this definition of work can be highly misleading, especially in today’s society. Although work has many purposes, and there are many forms of work, the definition of work itself is highly vague and controversial.
In physics, work is simply the energy transferred from a source to or from an immovable object through the use of pressure or an external force. In its most basic form, it can be thought of as the result of a displacement and force applied. In this sense, work could be done without any input from the person or object being worked with, but without the displacement or the force, work cannot be done. The only way in which work can be done is if some kind of input is required, such as lifting a heavy weight or pushing a boat out of the water.
The potential energy of a system is the total amount of kinetic energy that exists at a point in time. Kinetic energy is also referred to as potential energy because it actually gives up some of its original value during movement. Potential energy is not constant, but changes constantly as a result of the change in momentum, acceleration, or direction of motion. In fact, there is almost zero potential energy in the empty space between two points, which is why most of our space shuttle materials eventually decay and fall back to the Earth. The reason for this decaying process is due to an equal and opposite force acting on the system, which causes it to lose some of its potential energy before it actually decays away.
A simple example of potential energy would be the swing of a golf club. As the club swings back and forth, it creates a potential energy that is changed into kinetic energy when it reaches the top of the swing. Potential energy is actually the amount of change that occurs when the force applied to a body is altered. Work is done when the force applied to an object creates a change in the amount of that change through displacement. This can be visualized by thinking of a spring that is stretched taut, with an added force causing it to begin to shorten.
There are several different types of displacement, which all have their own unique characteristics. When you apply a force to an object, this can be done in many different ways, including: rotation, expansion, contraction, and reflection. Some of these methods are referred to as Momentum, while others use a word that is not as common, which is called kinetic energy. Any type of displacement can be referred to as a work done action.
Work is generally measured in physical units such as pounds, calories, or times the distance traveled. An action can be defined as any action that results in an overall change that is greater than the sum of its component parts. Work is one of the most important concepts in physics and is involved in all forms of motion, including sound, electricity, and kinetic energy.