11. Work and Energy

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Learning Objectives

  • Explain what is meant by a conservation law, and associated ideas of a system, state, change of state, and internal and external forces.
  • Be able to identify different forms of energy: mechanical, thermal, chemical and so on.
  • Describe energy transformation processes in a system and be able to identify reversible and irreversible processes.
  • Be able to calculate the work done on an object by a force exerted on it, and relate the work done on an object to a transfer of energy.


Course Notes

Notes: Work and Kinetic Energy (PDF - 3.1MB)

Suggested Textbook Reading (Optional)

Buy at Amazon Chapter 6.1-6.3. Young, Hugh D., Roger A. Freedman, and A. Lewis Ford. Sears and Zemansky's University Physics: with Modern Physics. 12th ed. San Francisco, CA: Addison-Wesley, 2007. ISBN: 9780805321876.

Lecture Video

Video Excerpts

Watch the following excerpts from the Physics I lecture videos:

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Download the complete lectures from this course:

» iTunes U
» Internet Archive

Learning Activities

Guided Activities

Read through the class slides carefully. They explain all of the concepts from the module.

Slides: Work and Energy (PDF)


Do the Concept Questions first to make sure you understand the main concepts from this module. Then, when you are ready, try the Challenge Problems. If you are struggling with the Challenge Problems, watch the Homework Help Session videos, which will give you tips on how to tackle problems of this type.

Concept Questions

Concept Questions (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems (PDF)

Solutions (PDF - 1.3MB)

Problem Solving Help

In the following videos Prof. Walter Lewin explains how to approach the Challenge Problems.

Help Session 1

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Download this video:
» iTunes U (MP4 - 20MB)
» Internet Archive (MP4 - 20MB)


Help Session 2

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Download this video:
» iTunes U (MP4 - 72MB)
» Internet Archive (MP4 - 72MB)


Related Resources

There are countless resources available online to help you learn physics. Try these:


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