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Homework Help: Looking for an algebraic definition of work.

  1. Jun 13, 2013 #1
    Greetings and Salutations!

    Currently I am not enrolled in a physics class but I am researching on my own and I was wondering if there was an algebraic definition of work and what it was if it exists. The only definition of work I know of (cursory knowledge i.e. I saw the following words written) Work is the integral of displacement over an area. Unfortunately my I'm only at a very basic algebra level.

    Thanks for your time!

    Peace be with you!

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

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2013 #2
    Work is equal to Fd, where F is the force being applied and d is the distance over which the force is applied.

    P.S., Welcome to Physics Forums!!!!
  4. Jun 13, 2013 #3
    Thank you for the prompt response!

    Also thank you for the welcome! I hope to learn lots of cool stuff while I'm here. I've been out of school for a couple years now, and I've found my thirst for knowledge reawakened after some time with out the soul crushing weight of public school and garbage college instructors. It's refreshing.
  5. Jun 13, 2013 #4


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    Homework Helper

    Technically the rigorous definition of work involves a dot product between the force vector and the displacement vector. And if the force is variable in either magnitude, direction or both, then an integral is involved.

    But if it's just a constant force moving an object along the same direction as the force acts, then Chester's simple formula suffices.
  6. Jun 13, 2013 #5
    Indeed. Like I said very basic which is to say elementary algebra here. I've never worked with a vector and all I know about the dot product is that it multiplies to zero when the angle between the vectors is orthogonic... And I know that from my research when I was trying to prove that perpendicular lines have opposite reciporical slopes. Which I did btw using the Pythagorean Theorem... I think my next post is going to be that proof. It's pretty cool how it all works out.
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