How are force and work related?   

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Work and force are related in that work is the force acting on an object multiplied by the displacement in the direction of the force, meaning the distance that the object moves:

W = F x d

A force is a push or a pull. The S.I unit for force is Newtons, with one Newton equal to one kilogram x meter/second^2. Work is expressed in Newton-meters, or N-m.

If you apply a force of 20N to a box to push it horizontally along the floor a distance of 10m, the work done on the box is W = (20N)(10m) = 200 N-m. This is assuming that you're pushing the box in the same direction that it moves. If you apply the force at an angle to the direction of motion you would need to calculate the component of the force that acts in the direction of the motion by resolving the force vector.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial