MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How was the equation for kinetic energy formulated?

Date: Thu Jun 18 12:39:11 1998
Posted By: Jeff Robertson, Faculty, Physical Sciences, Arkansas Tech University
Area of science: Physics
ID: 896990001.Ph

Work requires moving an object against a force through some distance.
(Lifting weights over your head against gravity is work)

The definitions of acceleration a = (v-v0)/t and 
distance traveled at an average velocity come into play  x = t(v+v0)/2

Work is Fx or max since Force = mass acceleration.
Therefore, combining the definition of work, acceleration and
the displacement (x)

Work = m (v-v0)/t (v+v0)/2 t

     = m (v^2-v0^2)/2

or   = 1/2 m v^2 - 1/2 m v0^2    WORK is the difference in two quantities.

The quantity 1/2 m v^2 was named the Kinetic Energy.
WORK can be defined as the change in kinetic energy.

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