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Recall Work


“Write down something you know about work.”


This SWBQ can be used to prompt students to think about the relationship between work and energy: Work is change in potential energy of a system. Students from introductory physics courses will likely recall work as $W=Fd$ or $W=Fd\cos{\theta}$ but can be prompted to consider what the work is if the force is changing to develop the concept of work being an integral, $W=\Delta U=\int{\vec{F}\cdot d\vec{r}}$.

Wrap Up

This small whiteboard question is part of a sequence of activities on determining the Internal Energy of a One Dimensional System. Other activities included within this sequence follow:

  • Preceding activity:
    • Recall Energy: This small whiteboard question prompts students to write down something they know about energy.
  • Follow-up activity:
    • Internal Energy of the "Derivative Machine": This small group activity serves as an introduction to experimentally measuring an integral by determining the internal energy, $U$, of a nonlinear system at several locations.

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