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### Course: MCAT > Unit 9

Lesson 5: Work and energy- Work and energy questions
- Introduction to work and energy
- Work and energy (part 2)
- Work and the work-energy principle
- Work as the transfer of energy
- Work example problems
- Work can be negative!
- Conservation of energy
- Work/energy problem with friction
- Intro to springs and Hooke's law
- Potential energy stored in a spring
- Spring potential energy example (mistake in math)
- Conservative forces
- Power
- Introduction to mechanical advantage

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# Work/energy problem with friction

Explore the concept of conservation of energy with a twist - introducing friction! Learn how energy isn't always fully conserved due to nonconservative forces like friction. Understand how potential energy converts into kinetic energy, and how friction impacts this transformation. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

- At6:48,How Is Initial Energy + Work done by friction = Final energy(20 votes)
- The system is losing energy to friction, and work is energy entering or exiting the system. Therefore, we will be adding all the work done on the system to the initial energy to achieve the final energy. In this problem, work done by friction will be negative because the force is applied in the opposite direction as the motion, and will decrease the initial energy, giving us a Final Energy result that is less than the initial energy because energy is lost to friction.(34 votes)

- When we are trying to find the work due to friction why are we using W=FD and not W=FDcos5? When is it appropriate to use either formula?(24 votes)
- It's not W = FDcos5, it's W = FDcos(180). This is a common misconception, remember that the angle theta in W = FDcos(theta), is equal to the angle BETWEEN the force vector and the distance vector. Since the distance vector is facing the complete opposite direction of the force vector, then the angle between them will be 180 degrees. COS(180) evaluates to "-1", which is why Sal always says that the work done by friction is NEGATIVE.(7 votes)

- Is work negative when the direction of force is opposite to the direction of motion? If yes, then why do we always have a positive value for work done against resistance(which is opposite to the direction of motion)?(5 votes)
- Work can be positive or negative but it is by convention. If you are looking at some system you often say work is positive if the work is done on the system or negative if the system is doing the work.

Also there is nothing about a scalar value that keeps it from being negative.(10 votes)

- What is a conservative force? How is it different from a non conservative force? Mathematically too?(6 votes)
- What Andrew has written is correct, but I thought I'd just add something.

Let**F**be a force field (vector field) in three dimensions. One can say that**F**is a conservative force if and only if there exists a potential function ƒ for which grad(ƒ) = ∇ƒ =**F**. We can also say that**F**is a conservative force if and only if curl(**F**) = ∇ x**F**=**0**.

If the force is conservative, as Andrew has pointed out, the path of the object is irrelevant. When dealing with conservative forces, what is more interesting is the initial and the final position of the object in question. This is useful when one for instance want to calculate the work done on an object moving from point**A**to point**B**through the force field. W = ∫**F**· d**r**along C, where C is the path of the object from**A**to**B**. Instead of calculating this line integral, one can for instance find the function ƒ and evaluate ƒ(**B**) - ƒ(**A**).(3 votes)

- What about the length of the ramp? Why only the height? The length can easily be much longer? And the height still the same. Doesn't that affect the potential energy?(3 votes)
- No, all that matters for gravitational PE is the height. The path you take to get from one height to another does not matter (as long as there's no friction).(5 votes)

- i only wanted the whole topic on friction

but i cant find the topic friction can anybody help me

i want the definition of friction(2 votes)- Friction is a force that is created whenever two surfaces move or try to move across each other.(3 votes)

- Why do you use W=Fd to calculate the final energy and not use W=Fcos theta x d when it's on an inclined ramp? I thought you include the angle if there is one and in this case it was 5 degrees.(2 votes)
- With respect to displacement, the angle of work is 0 degrees (same direction as displacement), so there is no need to find the component here.(3 votes)

- what is coefficient of friction/(1 vote)
- The coefficient of friction is a number that has been found through experimentation that can be put into the friction formula so that it matches the materials you are using.

it's a way of saying weather you are pushing against rubber versus a smooth table top.(4 votes)

- You summed initial energy + work, but your units were 38.5 KJ + 8455 J, so wouldn't it actually be (3000 J/45)^1/2 in order to find the final velocity? Which would be 25.8 m/s instead of 13.7m/s? My professor says to always pay attention to units so I'm just wondering if you made a mistake or if that's okay to do.(2 votes)
- No, in the video to make things a little bit simpler he declares that 38455 J is roughly equivalent to 38.5 KJ because 38455/1000 is roughly equivalent to 38.5.

then you take the work due to friction so 60N*500m and get 30000J. Since friction is always an opposing force you subtract this from the 38.5KJ and get the 8455J mentioned. This is the kinetic energy so 1/2mv^2 and you then multiply both sides by 2 and get 16910 = mv^2. The mass is 90kg so divide both sides by 90 and get v^2=187.8889. Square root this and you end up with 13.7m/s. He just consolidated the 38455J for the sake of brevity in the video. Think of the law of conservation of energy when non-conservative forces are at work as the PEi+KEi+NC(Non=conservative Force)=PEf+KEf. Hope this helps you. I am an AP Physics 1 Student and this is how we learned how to deal with non-conservative forces.(2 votes)

- Does an object at the surface of the Earth have any gravitational potential energy?(1 vote)
- Potential usually is measured relative to some "ground" state. If your "ground" is the surface of the earth, then you will say potential energy there is 0. You can, as clacour suggest, make the center of the earth your "ground". But when you are doing problems involving dropping balls off buildings, it's pretty convenient in the math to make the ground be ground.(3 votes)

## Video transcript

Welcome back. Welcome back.
Welcome back. I'll now do another conservation
of energy problem, and this time I'll
add another twist. So far, everything we've been doing,
energy was conserved by the law of conservation. But that's because all of the
forces that were acting in these systems were conservative
forces. And now I'll introduce you to
a problem that has a little bit of friction, and we'll see
that some of that energy gets lost to friction. And we can think about
it a little bit. Well where does that
energy go? And I'm getting this problem
from the University of Oregon's zebu.uoregon.edu. And they seem to have some nice
physics problems, so I'll use theirs. And I just want to make
sure they get credit. So let's see. They say a 90 kilogram
bike and rider. So the bike and rider combined
are 90 kilograms. So let's just say the mass is 90
kilograms. Start at rest from the top of a 500 meter
long hill. OK, so I think they mean
that the hill is something like this. So if this is the hill, that
the hypotenuse here is 500 hundred meters long. So the length of that,
this is 500 meters. A 500 meter long hill with
a 5 degree incline. So this is 5 degrees. And we can kind of just view
it like a wedge, like we've done in other problems.
There you go. That's pretty straight. OK. Assuming an average friction
force of 60 newtons. OK, so they're not telling us
the coefficient of friction and then we have to figure
out the normal force and all of that. They're just telling us, what
is the drag of friction? Or how much is actually friction
acting against this rider's motion? We could think a little bit
about where that friction is coming from. So the force of friction is
equal to 60 newtons And of course, this is going to be
going against his motion or her motion. And the question asks us, find
the speed of the biker at the bottom of the hill. So the biker starts up
here, stationary. That's the biker. My very artful rendition
of the biker. And we need to figure out the
velocity at the bottom. This to some degree is a
potential energy problem. It's definitely a conservation
of mechanical energy problem. So let's figure out what the
energy of the system is when the rider starts off. So the rider starts off at
the top of this hill. So definitely some
potential energy. And is stationary, so there's
no kinetic energy. So all of the energy is
potential, and what is the potential energy? Well potential energy is equal
to mass times the acceleration of gravity times
height, right? Well that's equal to, if the
mass is 90, the acceleration of gravity is 9.8 meters
per second squared. And then what's the height? Well here we're going to have
to break out a little trigonometry. We need to figure out this side
of this triangle, if you consider this whole
thing a triangle. Let's see. We want to figure out
the opposite. We know the hypotenuse and
we know this angle here. So the sine of this angle is
equal to opposite over hypotenuse. So, SOH. Sine is opposite over
hypotenuse. So we know that the height--
so let me do a little work here-- we know that sine of
5 degrees is equal to the height over 500. Or that the height is equal
to 500 sine of 5 degrees. And I calculated the sine of
5 degrees ahead of time. Let me make sure I
still have it. That's cause I didn't have my
calculator with me today. But you could do this
on your own. So this is equal to 500,
and the sine of 5 degrees is 0.087. So when you multiply these
out, what do I get? I'm using the calculator
on Google actually. 500 times sine. You get 43.6. So this is equal to 43.6. So the height of the hill
is 43.6 meters. So going back to the potential
energy, we have the mass times the acceleration of gravity
times the height. Times 43.6. And this is equal to, and then
I can use just my regular calculator since I don't
have to figure out trig functions anymore. So 90-- so you can see the whole
thing-- times 9.8 times 43.6 is equal to, let's
see, roughly 38,455. So this is equal to 38,455
joules or newton meters. And that's a lot of
potential energy. So what happens? At the bottom of the hill--
sorry, I have to readjust my chair-- at the bottom of the
hill, all of this gets converted to, or maybe I should pose that as a question. Does all of it get converted
to kinetic energy? Almost. We have a force
of friction here. And friction, you can kind of
view friction as something that eats up mechanical
energy. These are also called
nonconservative forces because when you have these forces
at play, all of the force is not conserved. So a way to think about it is,
is that the energy, let's just call it total energy. So let's say total energy
initial, well let me just write initial energy is equal
to the energy wasted in friction-- I should have written
just letters-- from friction plus final energy. So we know what the initial
energy is in this system. That's the potential energy
of this bicyclist and this roughly 38 and 1/2 kilojoules
or 38,500 joules, roughly. And now let's figure out the
energy wasted from friction, and the energy wasted from
friction is the negative work that friction does. And what does negative
work mean? Well the bicyclist is moving 500
meters in this direction. So distance is 500 meters. But friction isn't acting
along the same direction as distance. The whole time, friction is
acting against the distance. So when the force is going in
the opposite direction as the distance, your work
is negative. So another way of thinking of
this problem is energy initial is equal to, or you could say
the energy initial plus the negative work of friction,
right? If we say that this is a
negative quantity, then this is equal to the final energy. And here, I took the friction
and put it on the other side because I said this is going to
be a negative quantity in the system. And so you should always just
make sure that if you have friction in the system, just as
a reality check, that your final energy is less than
your initial energy. Our initial energy is, let's
just say 38.5 kilojoules. What is the negative work
that friction is doing? Well it's 500 meters. And the entire 500 meters, it's
always pushing back on the rider with a force
of 60 newtons. So force times distance. So it's minus 60 newtons,
cause it's going in the opposite direction of the
motion, times 500. And this is going to equal
the ending, oh, no. This is going to equal the
final energy, right? And what is this? 60 times 500, that's 3,000. No, 30,000, right. So let's subtract 30,000
from 38,500. So let's see. Minus 30. I didn't have to do that. I could have done
that in my head. So that gives us 8,455 joules is
equal to the final energy. And what is all the
final energy? Well by this time, the rider's
gotten back to, I guess we could call the sea level. So all of the energy
is now going to be kinetic energy, right? What's the formula for
kinetic energy? It's 1/2 mv squared. And we know what m is. The mass of the rider is 90. So we have this is 90. So if we divide both sides. So the 1/2 times 90. That's 45. So 8,455 divided by 45. So we get v squared
is equal to 187.9. And let's take the square root
of that and we get the velocity, 13.7. So if we take the square root of
both sides of this, so the final velocity is 13.7. I know you can't read that. 13.7 meters per second. And this was a slightly more
interesting problem because here we had the energy wasn't
completely conserved. Some of the energy, you could
say, was eaten by friction. And actually that energy
just didn't disappear into a vacuum. It was actually generated
into heat. And it makes sense. If you slid down a slide of
sandpaper, your pants would feel very warm by the time you
got to the bottom of that. But the friction of this, they
weren't specific on where the friction came from, but it
could have come from the gearing within the bike. It could have come
from the wind. Maybe the bike actually
skidded a little bit on the way down. I don't know. But hopefully you found that
a little bit interesting. And now you can not only work
with conservation of mechanical energy, but you can
work problems where there's a little bit of friction
involved as well. Anyway, I'll see you
in the next video.