1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Work and path dependence

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    Is work done if the total displacement is 0?

    It doesn't matter what path the object took to get from A back to A, right? As long as it ends at A, then its zero work, correct?

    So work IS NOT path dependent, it's a state function, like energy, right ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Work

    In general, yes.
    No. In general even if the displacement is zero when a force acts on a moving object, work is done.
    Nope, work is path dependent.

    For example, consider dragging a block across a rough surface for a distance of ten meters and then dragging it back to the same place you started. Did you do work on that block?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?