Work done

Here, the language can be a barrier to understanding rather than the ideas. The everyday use of the term work is ill defined whereas in physics it has a strict definition (force x distance) and is used a tool to make quantitative descriptions of particular situations. You may wish to use the term ‘mechanical work’ to help clarify this as a very specific quantity that is measured in Joules particularly as students may encounter other types of work (e.g. electrical work).

At the same time it would be wise to provide a generic definition of power as the rate at which work is done as this may help avoid confusion later on.

The effect of work done on an object to change its shape is dealt with in the related list GCSE 9 Change of shape

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.