Work Problems!  You go girl!

Basic Formula: W = F x d ** This should make sense, when we want to know how much work went into moving something, we need to know how much force it took and how far, right?
W = work d =distance F = force
Units: Work will always be a distance unit times a force unit. It is usually a newton*meter (Nm) - also known as a Joule (J)
Distance unit:  m (meters) 
Force units: usually in N (newtons) <Yes, in honor of Sir Isaac>


These problems are not really very hard to solve as long as you match the given numbers (usually using their units) with the formula above.  You can also use the triangle method.  The triangle is an easy way to figure out how to manipulate the formula.  In order to use it, look at the triangle.  Put your finger over the variable or letter you need to solve for.  For example, if you are looking for  work, you will cover up the letter W.  Now you do the mathematical function it shows.  If the letters are beside each other, you multiply.  If one is on top of the other, you divide.  If you would like to check out some sample problems, click on this link:  <work sample problems>
The triangle:

You can see that if you were trying to solve for Force need to do some work,  then the W(J) would be over the d, so you would divide the work done by the distance you did it in.  Similarly, if you wanted to solve for the distance an object would move, then the work(J) would be divided by the force (N) you applied since the work(J) is on the top. If you wanted to solve for the work(J) it took to complete the task, then the Force(N) would be located beside the distance, so you would multiply them together. 

(Units are included in italics in the parenthesis)




Last Updated: April 8, 2005.  All Rights Reserved.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact the IPCWebmaster. test