# Force Diagram For a Briefcase

The definition of work may seem a bit technical. In physics, work is energy that is transferred from an object to another through the application of pressure or force. In its most basic form, it can be defined as the sum of force and distance. For example, when two objects are propelled off of the ground by pushing them forward, that force and distance are considered to be the amount of work done (i.e. push/pull) by the two objects.

If we can find a way to translate this force and distance into a constant, then we can alter the definition of work, making it more practical for us to use in our every day lives. How would this change things? For example, let’s say I wanted to build a sail boat, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to get it up to a constant speed. I knew I needed to find a way to lower the boat’s center of gravity so it could work against the wind and have a greater potential to travel fast. Here’s where I’d go about implementing my new knowledge:

Set up the sail boat so the center of gravity is low. Then using calculus and some simple mathematics, figure out the direction of the wind on the surface of the water. Then determine the angle between this wind’s normal path and the position of the boat. Using this angle and the initial angle of attack, figure out the work done (weight exerted on the sail) in terms of the change in velocity that the sail would experience if I were to angle the boat’s hull in the opposite direction. Once I have this information, I simply multiply both the initial and side effects together to get my work done.

This may seem like a fairly straightforward concept, but I want to take it a step further and explain it in as much detail as possible. Think of the work done as a force vector. On its own, a force vector is just a mathematical sum, or combination, of values. This forces the system to react in a certain direction depending on the values.

To do this, I used a program that computes the normal displacement of a system, and the associated force vector, given a certain set of parameters. I then divided these components into two components. The first component, the horizontal displacement, can be figured out by simply looking at the horizontal position. The second component, the vertical displacement, can be calculated by taking the difference between the x-axis coordinates and the z-axis location. These components can then be multiplied with each other to get the final displacement value.

The next part of the force diagram was to determine which component of the force was coming from which component of the body. To do this, I looked at which component of the body was moving, and where that body was located. For instance, if a person was walking east, the weight of the person carrying a briefcase would be pulling down the person in front of him. If the person was walking west, the weight of the briefcase pulling down the person in front of him would be counterbalanced by the gravitational force the earth exerts on his entire body. This way, I was able to calculate the direction of motion.