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

In physics, work refers to the distance an object moves due to the force applied to it. Learn about the definition, components, and characteristics of work, and discover how to calculate the amount of work done on an object through some examples.

Work Done by a Variable Force

2. Work Done by a Variable Force

In physics, work is simply the amount of force needed to move an object a certain distance. In this lesson, discover how to calculate work when it is done by a variable force using rectangular approximation and integration.

What is Energy? - Definition and Significance in Nature

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

Energy is the capacity or ability to perform work, which is significant in causing anything to move within nature. Explore the different types of energy, where it comes from, why it is necessary, and how it is important in natural systems.

Kinetic Energy to Potential Energy: Relationship in Different Energy Types

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

Kinetic energy and potential energy are created differently. In this lesson, we will dive into different types of energy, and how they can be transformed into other types of energy.

Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

5. Work-Energy Theorem: Definition and Application

The work-energy theorem relates the net work done of forces on an object and the change in the kinetic energy of the object. Learn about the definition and application of the work-energy theorem, explore work as a change in energy, discover how the work-energy theorem can be applied to the potential energy of an object, and understand how the increase or decrease in energy is associated with the work-energy theorem.

First Law of Thermodynamics: Law of Conservation of Energy

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

The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of conservation of energy, says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Explore the first law of thermodynamics, see how energy can only be transformed but not created or destroyed, and discover some examples of the practical application of this law.

Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

7. Second Law of Thermodynamics: Entropy and Systems

It is important to observe all the elements that impacted the Big Bang Theory and the laws of thermodynamics. Specifically, the second law of thermodynamics involves entropy and systems. This lesson explores this law of thermodynamics, including its systems, implications, and practical applications.

What is Mechanical Energy? - Definition & Examples

8. What is Mechanical Energy? - Definition & Examples

Mechanical energy can be defined by the energy possessed by an object. Explore the two forms of mechanical energy, examples of mechanical energy, and discover the definitions of energy and work.

Pulleys: Basic Mechanics

9. Pulleys: Basic Mechanics

Pulleys are simple machines composed of wheels with looped ropes, cables, or chains that are designed to hold and lift loads. Learn how machines multiply force, explore the basic mechanics and types of a pulley, and discover the application of pulleys in the real world.

Conservation of Mechanical Energy

10. Conservation of Mechanical Energy

In physics, mechanical energy refers to the power that an object obtains based on its position or movement. Learn about the conservation of mechanical energy, including kinetic and potential mechanical energy. Explore how energy is conserved in a system, review conservation in action, and recognize outside forces on the system.

Energy Conversions Using Inclined Planes: Physics Lab

11. Energy Conversions Using Inclined Planes: Physics Lab

According to the law of conservation of energy, energy is neither created nor destroyed. In this lab, investigate how energy is conserved with an inclined plane and analyze the findings by calculating kinetic and gravitational potential energy.

Power: Definition and Mathematics

12. Power: Definition and Mathematics

Power in mathematics refers to how much work can be done in a certain amount of time, meaning the more work that can be done in the same amount of time means more power. Study the definition of power in mathematics and how it is calculated.

What is Thermal Energy? - Definition & Examples

13. What is Thermal Energy? - Definition & Examples

Thermal energy is related to the movement of particles in an object; this motion can generate heat. Learn about how thermal energy is used or can be used in many different situations, from cooking to providing a renewable energy resource.

What is Radiant Energy? - Definition & Examples

14. What is Radiant Energy? - Definition & Examples

Radiant energy exists in various forms, including electromagnetic waves. Learn about the definitions of radiant energy, electromagnetic waves, and high and low energy waves, before seeing some examples of how radiant energy is applied in our everyday lives.

What is Chemical Energy? - Definition & Examples

15. What is Chemical Energy? - Definition & Examples

Chemical energy is energy that is stored in chemicals. Look at some examples, such as sugar and gasoline, and learn about the importance of chemical energy in everyday life, and the functions of exothermic and endothermic reactions.

What is Electrical Energy? - Definition & Examples

16. What is Electrical Energy? - Definition & Examples

Energy comes in many different forms, including electric energy, which is found in charged particles in an electric field. Learn more about the definitions of energy and electrical energy, how electrical energy functions, and how electrical energy is applied.

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

Different substances have different heat capacities, which are all calculated differently. This lesson explains the difference between heat and temperature, as well as how to calculate specific heat capacity and apply it to everyday life, in aspects such as your body water.

Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

19. Specific Heat of Water & Metals: Physics Lab

That specific heat of a substance depends on its physical state. Discover the specific heat capacity of water and metals with this lab and learn to analyze the data collected.

Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

20. Changes in Heat and Energy Diagrams

Temperature and heat are not the same. Learn about the definitions of both temperature and heat, as well as how energy relates to each, and visualize the differences and relationships between the two in the diagrams provided.

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.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in Work, Energy, Power, and Thermodynamics.

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