Copyright

Ch 11: Work, Energy, Power, and Thermodynamics

About This Chapter

When you watch or read the lessons in this chapter, you can learn much more about work, energy, power and thermodynamics. You may be able to use these lessons to obtain continuing education credit in physical science, study for a big test or improve your knowledge of physical science.

Work, Energy, Power and Thermodynamics - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter explore the function of and the relationship between work, energy, power and thermodynamics. You will learn the principles of each and gain an understanding of the laws that govern them. These concise lessons are led by an expert instructor who uses real-world examples to explain each concept. You can assess what you've learned with quizzes that follow each lesson. By the end of this chapter, you should be ready to:

  • Discuss the significance of energy
  • Explain the relationship between kinetic energy and potential energy
  • Understand the two laws of thermodynamics
  • Define mechanical, thermal, radiant, chemical, electrical and nuclear energy
  • Calculate specific heat capacity
  • Understand diagrams of changes in heat and energy
  • Examine the transformation of energy
  • Know the characteristics of work
  • Explain variable force
  • Describe the work-energy relationship
  • Show how pulleys work
  • Show how mechanical energy is conserved
  • Define power and how it is calculated
  • Perform lab work involving the heating of water and metals

21 Lessons in Chapter 11: Work, Energy, Power, and Thermodynamics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Work: Definition, Characteristics, and Examples

1. Work: Definition, Characteristics, and Examples

Pushing a wall all day may feel like work, but unless you get that wall moving you're not doing any work according to the rules of physics. In this video lesson, you'll learn how work is defined as well as how to calculate the amount of work done on an object.

Work Done by a Variable Force

2. Work Done by a Variable Force

Doing work on an object is a simple concept: we apply a certain force over a certain distance. But in real life, that force is rarely constant. Therefore, we need to understand variable forces and be able to calculate them accurately.

What is Energy? - Definition and Significance in Nature

3. What is Energy? - Definition and Significance in Nature

This lesson describes the nature of energy and how it is transferred from one source into another. Additionally, it will describe the significance of energy in natural systems.

Kinetic Energy to Potential Energy: Relationship in Different Energy Types

4. Kinetic Energy to Potential Energy: Relationship in Different Energy Types

This video defines and describes kinetic and potential energy. You'll learn how different types of energy can be classified as potential and kinetic. You'll also find out how kinetic and potential energy are transformed.

Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

5. Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

Work and energy are closely related in physics. In this lesson, you'll learn what that relationship is as well as how we can apply it to various situations.

First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

6. First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

This video describes the first law of thermodynamics. Several examples of the application of this law are discussed. The significance of the law and its practical application are discussed as well.

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

7. Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

In this lesson, we'll learn about the second law of thermodynamics. By studying this law, you'll understand how energy works and why we're all moving towards eventual chaos and disorder.

What is Mechanical Energy? - Definition & Examples

8. What is Mechanical Energy? - Definition & Examples

In physics, energy is how work gets done. This video describes one important type of energy, mechanical energy, and provides examples of both kinetic and potential mechanical energy.

Pulleys: Basic Mechanics

9. Pulleys: Basic Mechanics

Like other simple machines, pulleys can help us lift and move heavy loads with less effort. In this video lesson, you'll learn how pulleys do this as well as how this is possible while still obeying the law of conservation of energy.

Conservation of Mechanical Energy

10. Conservation of Mechanical Energy

Energy comes in many forms and for any system can never be created or destroyed. This holds true for mechanical energy, which also obeys this law of conservation of energy. In this video lesson, you'll explore how mechanical energy is converted or transferred between forms and objects.

Energy Conversions Using Inclined Planes: Physics Lab

11. Energy Conversions Using Inclined Planes: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what conservation of energy is and use it to calculate how much energy is lost to friction when an object goes down a ramp. A short quiz will follow.

Power: Definition and Mathematics

12. Power: Definition and Mathematics

Work involves moving an object with a force, but power tells us how quickly that work is done. In this lesson, you will learn about how power depends on both work and time as well as see examples of how to calculate power.

What is Thermal Energy? - Definition & Examples

13. What is Thermal Energy? - Definition & Examples

This lesson defines and identifies examples of thermal energy everywhere from your kitchen to the Earth's core. We'll discuss geothermal energy, a renewable energy source, as well.

What is Radiant Energy? - Definition & Examples

14. What is Radiant Energy? - Definition & Examples

This lesson defines and describes radiant energy in its different forms. The different types of electromagnetic waves created by radiant energy are identified and described as well. This includes X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves, to mention a few.

What is Chemical Energy? - Definition & Examples

15. What is Chemical Energy? - Definition & Examples

This lesson describes chemical energy as a type of potential energy stored in chemicals, such as sugar and gasoline. The lesson discusses how energy is transferred from solar energy to chemical energy by plants and how gasoline is a source of chemical energy used to move cars.

What is Electrical Energy? - Definition & Examples

16. What is Electrical Energy? - Definition & Examples

This lesson defines electrical energy and explores its role as a form of potential energy. It also offers an explanation of how it functions within electric fields and provides examples of its applications.

What is Nuclear Energy? - Definition & Examples

17. What is Nuclear Energy? - Definition & Examples

You've probably heard of nuclear energy. But what is it? And what is the difference between fusion and fission? This lesson will answer your questions about this exciting form of energy that involves atoms and their nuclei.

How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

18. How to Calculate Specific Heat Capacity for Different Substances

This lesson describes specific heat capacity and explains how the specific heat capacity of water helps to maintain a relatively constant temperature in nature. Learn how to identify the specific heat capacity of other common materials and how to calculate specific heat capacity with an experiment.

Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

19. Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

This lab will help you to be able to explain what specific heat is and find the specific heat of a metal using household objects. After completing the lab and analyzing the data, you can complete a short quiz to test your knowledge.

Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

20. Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

Did you know that temperature and heat are not the same thing? Did you know that the temperature of water doesn't change when it boils? This lesson describes the relationship between heat and temperature. Diagrams are used to illustrate the relationship between heat and temperature during phase changes.

Energy and Life: The Transformation of Energy in Living Organisms

21. Energy and Life: The Transformation of Energy in Living Organisms

While the sun is an excellent source of energy, not all forms of life can utilize the sun's energy directly. This lesson describes how plants transform the sun's energy into potential energy stored in sugar, how living organisms utilize energy in sugar to perform work, and how the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration is necessary for life.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support