Lab 12: Work-Energy-Power

In this lab, we are going to look at the difference between work done on a point-particle system and work done on a real system. In short, this is difference:

  • Point-Particle System: This treats the object (however complicated it might actually be) as just a point.  A point particle can only have kinetic energy.  The work done on a point particle is the force acting on the particle (as a vector) dot the displacement of the center of mass for the object.
  • Real System: For a real system, you could have all types of energy.  Kinetic, thermal, rotational, whatever.  The work done on a real system is the force (as a vector) dot the displacement of the force.
How can these be different?  Here are two examples.
This example is just about work-energy.

This example shows the difference between point-particle and real systems and why it is useful to use both.

For the lab, we are going to look at people that jump.  Yup. I will give you a worksheet in class.
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