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Work while walking up stairs

  1. Nov 13, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A man carries a 70.0 kg box. He caries it down a hallway 10.0 m, up a set of stairs for 4.0 meters, and down another hallway for 15.0 meters. How much work does he do?

    2. Relevant equations

    W=fd

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am confused because I don't feel like there is enough information to answer. The problem doesn't say if he is walking at a constant velocity or not, but I assume he is. And it doesn't say what direction he is walking in. I feel like this is a trick question and no work is being done, but I am not sure because he walks up a set of steps.

    I would guess that the work being done is only when he is walking up the steps?
    And the answer would be (70.0)(9.81)(4.0). Would this be correct?

    Can someone please explain this to me?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2013 #2

    Mentz114

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    Gold Member

    Maybe the question is 'how much work is done on the box' in which case I agree with your answer.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2013 #3

    haruspex

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    The main thing I don't like about the question is that "up a set of stairs for 4.0 meters" would normally mean the distance walked (up the line of slope). Being in the context of distances along horizontals reinforces that. But to answer the question, without being told the angle of the flight of steps, you need to assume it's the vertical distance.
     
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