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A quick definition of Work and Power

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Work and Power...

Power is defined as the rate of speed that a specified work is accomplished. To understand Power, it is first necessary to define Work.

Work is done by applying a constant force to an object, thus moving it. If a Pound of force is needed to move an object one Foot, the work done is one Foot-Pound of work. Similarly, in the Metric System, A Newton-Meter (Also called a Joule) of work is performed by applying a constant force of one newton which moves a body a distance of one meter.

Time is not involved in the definition of work. The amount of work performed is the same, say, in lifting a weight a specific vertical height regardless if the action of the lifting takes a minute or an hour. However the amount of time needed to perform that lifting work leads to the concept of POWER.

The measurement of power describes work with regard to the amount of time it took to perform the work. This is a scientific definition of what most people understand instinctively: One needs more "power" to go faster or to do more in the same amount of time.See 'Definition of Power'

Published 2002.02.19

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