In my text, we learn that the work done on an object is equal to the change in kinetic energy of that object. It seems to me that this statement requires some restrictions. If I take a an object at rest of mass m and lift to a height h and place it at rest on a shelf, the work I've done is -mgh. But I haven't changed the kinetic energy.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

If you consider some U-K system (sorry), perhaps where U is given by mgh, then the work done by the conservative force which provides U is always equal to the negative of the change in kinetic energy, provided there are no other forces.

In the first example, the total energy changes and W=deltaK fails. In the second, the total energy is constant and W=deltaK holds. How do I know in general when to apply the work-energy theorem??

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# Confused about work-energy

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