Power

The quantity work has to do with a force causing a displacement. Work has nothing to do with the amount of time that this force acts to cause the displacement. Sometimes, the work is done very quickly and other times the work is done rather slowly.

For example, a rock climber takes an abnormally long time to elevate her body up a few meters along the side of a cliff. On the other hand, a trail hiker (who selects the easier path up the mountain) might elevate her body a few meters in a short amount of time. The two people might do the same amount of work, yet the hiker does the work in considerably less time than the rock climber. The quantity which has to do with the rate at which a certain amount of work is done is known as the power. The hiker has a greater power rating than the rock climber.

Power is the rate at which work is done. It is the work/time ratio. Mathematically, it is computed using the following equation.

The standard metric unit of power is the Watt. As is implied by the equation for power, a unit of power is equivalent to a unit of work divided by a unit of time. Thus, a Watt is equivalent to a Joule/second.

We can rearrange the equations:

W = Power x time

Energy = Power x time

1. Two physics students, Will N. Andable and Ben Pumpiniron, are in the weightlifting room. Will lifts the 100-pound barbell over his head 10 times in one minute; Ben lifts the 100-pound barbell over his head 10 times in 10 seconds. Which student does the most work? ______________ Which student delivers the most power? ______________ Explain your answers.

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2. During a physics lab, Jack and Jill ran up a hill. Jack is twice as massive as Jill; yet Jill ascends the same distance in half the time. Who did the most work? ______________ Who delivered the most power? ______________ Explain your answers.

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3. A tired squirrel (mass of approximately 1 kg) does push-ups by applying a force to elevate its center-of-mass by 5 cm in order to do a mere 0.50 Joule of work. If the tired squirrel does all this work in 2 seconds, then determine its power.

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4. When doing a chin-up, a physics student lifts her 42.0-kg body a distance of 0.25 meters in 2 seconds. What is the power delivered by the student's biceps?

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5. Your household's monthly electric bill is often expressed in kilowatt-hours. One kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy delivered by the flow of l kilowatt of electricity for one hour. Use conversion factors to show how many joules of energy you get when you buy 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity.

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6. An escalator is used to move 20 passengers every minute from the first floor of a department store to the second. The second floor is located 5.20 meters above the first floor. The average passenger's mass is 54.9 kg. Determine the power requirement of the escalator in order to move this number of passengers in this amount of time.

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