By Benjamin Crowell

ISBN-10: 0970467028

ISBN-13: 9780970467027

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The y component of the velocity can be connected to the height via the constant acceleration equation [3] vf2 = vi2 + 2a∆y , d / As the skater free-falls, his PE is converted into KE. ) and Newton’s second law provides the acceleration, [4] a = F/m , in terms of the gravitational force. 2 Potential Energy: Energy of Distance or Closeness 39 The algebra is simple because both equation [2] and equation [3] have velocity to the second power. Equation [2] can be solved for v 2 to give v 2 = 2KE/m, and substituting this into equation [3], we find KEf KEi 2 =2 + 2a∆y .

In example d, there are two quantities of work you might want to calculate: the work done by the tractor on the plow and the work done by the plow on the dirt. These two quantities can’t both equal F d. Most of the energy transmitted through the cable goes into frictional heating of the plow and the dirt. The work done by the plow on the dirt is less than the work done by the tractor on the plow, by an amount equal to the heat absorbed by the plow. It turns out that the equation W = F d gives the work done by the tractor, not the work done by the plow.

Heat was nothing more than the kinetic energy of atoms. A second and even greater simplification was achieved with the realization that all the other apparently mysterious forms of energy actually had to do with changing the distances between atoms (or similar processes in nuclei). This type of energy, which relates to the distance between objects that interact via a force, is therefore of great importance. We call it potential energy. Most of the important ideas about potential energy can be understood by studying the example of gravitational potential energy.

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2-Conservation Laws by Benjamin Crowell

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