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Understanding the Concept of Force, Work and Energy

Introduction to Force, Work and Energy

Last updated date: 17th Mar 2023
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We often use the phrases force, work, energy, and power in ordinary conversation. A teacher instructing a class, a student studying for a test, a mother making meals, and a farmer ploughing the field are all considered to be at work. A person with high stamina or energy can work for lengthy periods of time. In karate or boxing, we talk about forceful punches delivered quickly. In this article, we will talk about force, work and energy and also about the work power energy formulas.

Force and Its Types

A push or pull on an object is referred to as force. Force is utilised not just to move but also to halt an object. Force is used to affect an object's direction and position. It has the ability to change the speed of a moving object.

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There are several types of forces and some of which are explained below:

  • Muscular Force: It is defined as any force applied by muscles such as the arms or legs. 

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  • Frictional Force: The force exerted when two surfaces come into contact is known as friction. Friction acts on all moving things, however the force of friction always works in the opposite direction to the movement of the body.

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  • Gravitational Force: The force that pulls objects downwards towards the earth's core is known as gravity. It means all the objects try to move towards the centre of earth when allowed to fall freely.

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  • Mechanical Force: A mechanical force is defined as a force that involves direct contact between two things and resulting in a change in the state of the objects.

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What is Work?

Work is defined as everything that exhausts us, such as running, writing, art, and so on. The term "work" refers to both mental and physical labour. As a result, work is said to be done when a constant force is given to an object, causing the object to move in the same direction as the force.

The formula of work is given as:



$F$ = constant force

$d$ = displacement of the object

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Energy and Its Types

Energy can be defined as the ability of an object to do work. It is of two types:

  • Kinetic Energy: It is the energy possessed by an object due to its motion. For example, if a boy is running then it possesses kinetic energy. Mathematically, we can write the kinetic energy expression as:



$m$ = mass of the moving body

$v$ = velocity of the body due to its motion

  • Potential Energy: The energy of the body possessed by virtue of its position is known as potential energy. Mathematically, we can express the potential energy as


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It is defined as the ratio of work done and time. Mathematical, we can write it as



$W$ = work done

$t$ = time during which work is done

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Work Energy Principle or Work Energy Theorem

According to this principle, the amount of work done by a body is always equal to the change in kinetic energy of the body. Mathematically, we can write it as

$W=\Delta K=\dfrac{1}{2}mv^2_f-\dfrac{1}{2}mv^2_i$


$\Delta K$ = change in kinetic energy, 

$v_i$ = initial velocity of the body, 

$v_f$ = final velocity of the body.


Solved Questions

  1. What are the units of work and energy?

Ans: The standard units of measurement for work and energy are the same i.e, Joule (J). As work can be written as a product of force and displacement, so we can also write the unit of work as Newton metre. 

  1. What is the difference between force and energy?

Ans: A force is any activity that tends to change a body's condition of rest or motion. Energy is a system attribute that measures a system's ability to accomplish work, for example potential and kinetic energy.

  1. While catching a cricket ball of mass 100 g moving with a velocity of 10 m/s. find the work done in catching the ball.

Ans: Given:

The mass of the ball, $m$ = 100g = 0.1 kg

Initial velocity of the ball, $v_i$ = 10 m/s

Final velocity of the ball, $v_f$ = 0………(As ball get stopped after catching it)

Now applying the concept of work energy principle,


After putting the values of the quantities, we get:

$W=\dfrac{1}{2}\times (0.1) (0)^2-\dfrac{1}{2}\times (0.1) (10)^2$

$W= 0- 5=-5J$

Hence, the amount of work done in catching a ball is -5J.

Fun Facts

  • Everything around us is controlled by some kind of force, for example, the revolution of Earth around the Sun and Moon around the Earth is done in a proper orbit because of the presence of gravitational force.

  • You are able to write on paper because of the presence of frictional force.


In this post, we have mentioned various concepts like work, force and its types, energy and its types and also about the concept of power. We have discussed the concept of work energy principle and also solved numericals on work energy theorem. 

Learning By Doing

At the railway station, you have noticed the coolie is putting up the luggage on his head. In that case, think about whether the work is done or not. If not then why?

FAQs on Understanding the Concept of Force, Work and Energy

1. How do force and energy interact?

Whenever two objects collide with each other, the forces acting between them transfer the energy and result in a change in position of the object. In this way, the force and energy work together simultaneously.

2. Is it possible to transfer the force?

Yes, it is possible to transfer the force. Suppose you are playing a cricket game and you hit the ball with the bat, in that case, the force that you have applied on the bat is transferred to the ball after making contact with the bat.

3. Is it possible to destroy energy?

No, it is not possible to destroy energy. It can be transferred from one state to another state. For example, when you open the tap for washing of your hand then the potential energy of water, which is in the tank, is converted into kinetic energy.