Objectives - Work and Energy

The Minds On Physics program consists of 15 modules. Each module covers a different topic and consists of a varying number of assignments. Every assignment addresses one or two objectives. The objectives for the Work and Energy module are listed below.

  • Assignment 1:
    • The student should be able to define work and identify its units.
    • The student should be able to predict whether a force is doing positive, negative or zero work.
  • Assignment 2:
    • The student should be able to define power and identify its units.
    • The student should be able to distinguish between work and power and calculate the power for physical situations.
  • Assignment 3:
    • The student should be able to define kinetic energy, identify the standard unit of kinetic energy and identify the variables which effect (and do not effect) the kinetic energy of an object.
    • The student should be able to define potential energy, identify the standard unit of potential energy and identify the variables which effect (and do not effect) the potential energy of an object.
  • Assignment 4:
    • The student should be able to define mechanical energy and relate it to the amount of kinetic energy and potential energy.
    • The student should be able to analyze a physical situation and identify whether the total mechanical energy of an object is increasing, decreasing or remaining constant.
  • Assignment 5:
    • The student should be able to categorize forces as being conservative or non-conservative and explain the significance of such a categorization scheme.
    • The student should be able to predict whether an object's total mechanical energy would be conserved or not conserved based upon the types of forces which are doing work upon the object.
  • Assignment 6:
    • The student should be able to utilize a bar chart and the work-energy relationship to analyze a physical situation and develop an equation which relates the energies of the initial and final states of a motion.
  • Assignment 7:
    • The student should be able to identify the basic principles of and the conditions required for energy conservation.
    • The student should be able to apply the principles of energy conservation to a variety of physical situations.
  • Assignment 8:
    • The student should be able to conduct an energy analysis to determine the kinetic and/or the potential energy of an object at a given location.
    • The student should be able to conduct an energy analysis to determine the height or speed of an object at a given location.
  • Assignment 9:
    • The student should be able to identify the conditions in which mechanical energy is not conserved and demonstrate an understanding of the distinction between energy conservation and non-conservation.
    • The student should be able to apply the work-energy relationship to simple physical situations.
  • Assignment 10:
    • The student should be able to conduct an energy analysis to determine the kinetic and/or the potential energy of an object at a given location.


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