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work - WORK AND THE SCALAR(DOT PRODUCT In this lecture a...

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WORK AND THE SCALAR (DOT) PRODUCT In this lecture a new approach to mechanics problems will be initiated. One might wonder, however, why do we need a new approach? Newton’s laws of motion seem to be so powerful that all mechanics problems are soluble by applying the three laws of motion? In principle, Newton’s laws are all that is needed. But in practice, it is very difficult to solve many problems using Newton’s laws. For these other problems, physics has developed a new approach. Although, the perspective is new, the results will be the same as one would of found using Newton’s laws. This new approach is based on what are called conservation laws . In mechanics there are three conservation laws: energy, momentum and angular momentum. Before developing the ideas of energy conservation, we must begin with a new concept: work. Definition of Work In physics many times a word has a meaning that is not consistent with how the same word is used in everyday life. For example, in physics “work” takes on a technical meaning that often contradicts its everyday usage.
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