Determining Work Done by a Person on a Luggage

In summary, the conversation discusses the calculation of work done by a person pulling a luggage up a ramp. The formula used for carrying a backpack up a ramp is mentioned, and the person wonders if the formula for pulling would be the same and how kinetic friction and applied force would factor in. The suggested approach is to use the work-energy theorem, and the formula for the work done by the person is clarified.
  • #1
SerenaMay
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I'm trying to determine the work done by a person as they pull a luggage up a ramp. The ramp has a height of 5 m and the distance the person walks up is 20 m. The weight of the bag is also 10 kg.

I am trying to compare the work done by pulling the luggage up a ramp to carrying an equally heavy backpack up a ramp on one's back. The formula I found and used to find the Work the person did when carrying the backpack was Wp = mgh (Alternatively, Fn(d*cos(theta)) = Fh*h = mgh ?).

I was wondering if the formula for the pulling would be the same and/or how would the kinetic friction and possibly applied force on the luggage trolley handle be added in the equation. Or if I am wrong in both the formulas, what would be a more correct way of doing it?

From what I am thinking of, Wp = mgh*(applied force - kinetic friction) since the kinetic friction is holding the luggage back a bit but it is still significantly less than the applied force of the person pulling on the handle.
 
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  • #2
Hi SerenaMay and welcome to PF.

The most straightforward approach to this problem is the work-energy theorem. Have you studied it?
 
  • #3
SerenaMay said:
Wp = mgh*(applied force - kinetic friction)
That equation cannot be right. You already have mg as a force, and you are multiplying by another force.
Also, we want the work done by the person. Why would you subtract the frictional force?

The person applies a force. How do you normally find the work done by a given force?
 

Related to Determining Work Done by a Person on a Luggage

1. How is work defined in the context of determining work done by a person on a luggage?

In this context, work is defined as the force applied by a person on a luggage multiplied by the distance the luggage is moved.

2. What are the units of measurement for work?

The units of measurement for work are Joules (J) or Newton-meters (N*m).

3. How do you calculate work done by a person on a luggage?

Work done by a person on a luggage can be calculated by multiplying the force applied by the person by the distance the luggage is moved in the direction of the force. This can be represented by the equation W = F * d.

4. What factors can affect the amount of work done by a person on a luggage?

The amount of work done by a person on a luggage can be affected by the amount of force applied, the distance the luggage is moved, and the angle at which the force is applied. Friction and weight of the luggage can also affect the amount of work done.

5. Can work be negative in this context?

Yes, work can be negative in this context if the force applied by the person is in the opposite direction of the movement of the luggage. This means that the person is doing work on the luggage, but the work is being done against the direction of movement, resulting in a negative value.

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