How Do You Calculate Work?

How Do You Calculate Work?

To calculate the amount of work applied to a given object, multiply the force acting upon the object by the object's displacement, and multiply that total by the cosine of the angle between the force and displacement. Use joules as the unit of measurement for work.

  1. Calculate the force

    The force acting upon an object is equal to the mass of the object in kilograms, multiplied by the object's velocity in meters per second, divided by the amount of time it was in motion in seconds. This can be expressed as F = m(v/t).

  2. Calculate the object's displacement

    Displacement is how far the force moved the object in meters. Measure the distance between the starting and stopping points of the object's movement.

  3. Find the angle between the force and the displacement

    To find this value, measure the angle between the direction of the force and the direction of the object's displacement. If the force and displacement move in the same direction, this value is zero.

  4. Calculate the work done

    Use the formula W = Fd cos ?, where W equals work, F equals force, d = displacement and ? equals the angle between F and d. Find the cosine of the angle, and multiply that by the values for force and displacement. Express work as a value in joules.