How to find the amount of work done on an object

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A student librarian picks up a 2.2 kg book from the floor to a height of 1.10 m. He carries the book 7.9 m to the stacks and places the book on a shelf that is 0.35 m above the floor. How much work does he do on the book?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    work = ?(7.9-1.1)
    work = ?(6.8) = 2.2(.35)
  2. jcsd
  3. olgranpappy

    olgranpappy 1,273
    Homework Helper

    Only the displacement parallel to the force matters. Thus it was correct for you to use 0.35 meters in your equation. Now, tell us: what is m? what is g? what is mg?
  4. m = 1.10 or 7.9
    g = 2200
    mg = 2,200,000
  5. LowlyPion

    LowlyPion 5,337
    Homework Helper

    I think you've missed the point. g is not grams here, it's g gravity.

    The work done on an object is the dot product of the Force acting on the object and the distance over which it acts.

    What oldgranpappy was trying to convey is that you should be only considering the forces that acted on the book along the direction over which work was done against a force.

    For instance work in picking up something against gravity is the product of its weight and the height that you pick it up to. How far you carry it, since that direction is perpendicular to the force of gravity, then does not affect the amount of work against gravity.
  6. olgranpappy

    olgranpappy 1,273
    Homework Helper

    m is not 1.10 or 7.9.

    m is the mass of the book. what is the mass of the book?
  7. 2.2 kg
  8. HallsofIvy

    HallsofIvy 40,310
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    And g is the acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m/s2, so what is the weight of the book, mg?

    And lifting it a tota vertical distance of 3.5 m (NOT 1.1+ 3.5 m. Do you see why?) what work is done on the book?
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