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.