Modern Physics

Applications of the concepts of Energy, Power, Force, Work

The energy, power, strength and work are concepts that are completely interconnected and very present in many of the activities that people do every day.

Energy ( E ) is defined as the ability of a body to perform work. Everything that happens in the universe uses energy that is transformed into other forms of energy.

Work ( W ) is the force ( F ) applied to a body to produce a displacement in the same direction as the force. Force is an action of transferring or losing energy. Power ( P ) is the amount of work done by a body over a period of time.

What application do the concepts of Energy, Power, Force and Work have in everyday life?


One of the forms of energy present in everyday life is electrical energy. This type of energy typically comes from power plants that transfer electricity through large electrical wiring networks.

Power plants are generation plants that are based on the transformation of mechanical energy into electrical energy, through the use of fossil fuels, such as oil, or through the use of other energy sources, such as wind or hydraulic energy.

When electrical energy reaches factories, businesses, homes or end users, it is transformed into other types of energy through the use of electrical appliances.

For example, electric iron transforms electricity into thermal energy, light bulbs transform energy into light, blenders and washing machines into mechanical energy. Likewise, electricity supplied to the rail system provides movement in the trains which translates into kinetic energy.

The energy in a car engine comes from burning fuel, such as gasoline or gas, to transform it into mechanical energy. When trying to stop a car, to slow down or stop it, its kinetic energy is transformed into thermal energy that dissipates into the environment through the elements of the brake system.

Related:   Hydrodynamics: Laws, Applications and Solved Exercise

As living organisms, people convert the energy from the food they consume into caloric energy or chemical energy that is stored in fat in organic tissues. When exercising or playing sports, a person burns calories or body fat, influencing weight, muscle mass and performance.


The concept of power is present when analyzing the operation of machines that are primarily designed to perform work on bodies. Machines are characterized by a power rating that indicates energy transfer per unit of time.

A car engine has a power rating that depends on the cylinder capacity. A car with a large displacement has more power, reaches high speeds and consumes a lot of energy.

Power in vehicles is measured in power ( HP ). In the electric motors of washing machines, dryers, blenders or blenders, the power is expressed in watts ( W ) or kilowatts ( KW ).

Athletes are very interested in improving their power in performing routine training activities. Strength training consists of performing application exercises, with greater displacement force, of the same load in the shortest possible time.

In other words, training consists of improving the load application force to improve movement speed and, therefore, improve power.


The human being experiences the effects of forces daily. For example, the effort to lift a 2 kg weight in the gym is approximately 20 Newtons, opposing the force of gravity.

When pushing a very heavy object or running on a race track, all the muscle and bone power is used to get the object to move or to reach high speeds.

The action of driving a car or stopping it requires strength. When using a blender or washing machine, there is a circular motion that helps crush food or remove dirt from clothing. This movement is due to the centripetal force that the engine provides.

Forces present in everyday life can move objects, stop them or keep them at rest. The explanation of these effects is present in Newton’s laws of motion.

An application example is when a soccer player kicks a ball to accelerate and fly vertically. The ball reaches a certain height that depends on the applied force. The force of gravity slows the ball down and it bounces back. When falling to the ground, it bounces several times due to the elastic force of the material it is made of.

Finally, the ball rolls on the ground until it stops due to the frictional force, which is exerted between the surface and the ball, subtracting the kinetic energy.

The forces that keep it at rest are the force of gravity and the force that holds it on the ground. These two forces are equalized and the ball remains at rest until a new force applied by the player is applied again.


In everyday life, the term work means performing some activity that generates monetary gain. In physics, work has another meaning. Work is done whenever an applied force causes displacement.

Applying more force should result in more work. Likewise, applying the same force over a greater distance should result in more work.

An example of work application in everyday life is when a book is lifted off the ground. In this case, the work is done because a vertical force is applied to obtain a displacement in the same direction.

If you move to a greater height, the work done is greater because there is more energy transfer, but if the book returns to the same starting point, negative work will be done that will result in energy loss.

When a carriage is pushed horizontally from a rest position, work is performed because the thrust is done in the same direction as the carriage travels.

If the car is pushed up, the work will also be done by the component of force that opposes the force of gravity.

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