# Calculate work =variable force & variable distance

1. Feb 2, 2012

### Bala06

Dear All

I would like to calculate work done on the system by variable force & distance at each point.

Kindly let me know to the formula how to calculate work in excel sheet (because i'm having huge data)

I have attached my copy of data for your reference.

Many Thanks
Balaji

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2. Feb 2, 2012

### gmax137

Bala06 - when you integrate force times distance you need to remember that these are vectors. Your table of data is unclear - are the values given 'in the same direction'? I mean, is the direction of motion the same as the direction of the force? If so then you can multiply (force x distance). Also, it looks like the values of distance in your table 'accumulate' or in other words, they represent distance along an axis. When you do the integral it needs to be FxdS where dS is the 'differential' distance. The distance moved while the force is applied.

So, assuming the force & distance are along the same direction, then you need to make a third column in your spreadsheet to determine the incremental distance in each row of the sheet, and then multiply that by the force in that row, and then add that product to the sum of the previous products.

Alternately, make a plot of the data and estimate the area under the curve. In your case, it looks to me like you could make a pretty good estimate; use that to check your spreadsheet-calculated integral.

Finally you need to consider the units; your data does not indicate what the units of force & distance are. You need to know that so that you can give meaningful units to your calculated integral.