The Definition of Work

Work is a concept that explains how energy is transferred from an object to another via force and displacement. Often, work is represented as a product of force and displacement. The physical properties of work are the same as those of force and displacement. However, unlike energy, which can be stored in a physical system, work cannot be stored. The only way to store it is by measuring the force required to move a heavy object. When a person lifts a heavy object, she is performing work.


Work can be measured in a number of ways. The most common is the Joule, which is the unit for the measurement of mechanical work. However, the unit of work can also be measured in other units, such as foot-pound, kilogram, and liter-atmosphere. Other commonly used units are the kilowatt-hour, calorie, and erg. These non-SI units are sometimes used as measurement units. For example, if a person lifts a weight of 10 kg, she will be performing work equivalent to 20 newtons.

The definition of work is also important when comparing various types of work. There are different types of work, including manual labor and service jobs. For instance, a physics teacher isn’t exerting any force that would displace an object. But she will not cave in to pressure, even if a student pushes her paper across her desk. So she is not doing any work. She is conserving her energy to be able to continue teaching.

Basically, work is a measure of energy transfer. It is measured in units of joule, a SI unit equivalent to one kilogram and one Newton. When a force acts on a body, it transfers energy to it. If the applied force is opposite to the motion of the object, then it is called negative work. In this case, the energy is taken from the object. If the applied force does not result in a positive change in the displacement, then it is considered negative work.

The work of a force depends on its direction of displacement with respect to the force. If an object moves perpendicular to a force, it experiences zero work. This is the case when an object moves parallel to the force. For example, a coolie is at an angle with the force of gravity. A string exerting a ten-pound mass on its head would cause the ball to move in a circular motion.

The work of a force depends on the direction of displacement with respect to the force. In the case of gravity, a mass moving perpendicular to a force is at a 90-degree angle to gravity. In such a situation, the force causes zero work. A weight that moves parallel to a force will experience negative work. The same is true for an object that moves at an angle with a force. The direction of displacement and gravity will determine the work of the force.