What is the Difference Between Work and Energy? ( + Work and Energy Practise Questions )

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Difference Between Work and Energy

The main difference between work and energy is that work is the transfer of energy over a specific distance in one direction with the support of a force. A different term for energy is the force that moves at a specific distance. We can refer to these two as scalar units. There needs to be movement and force for work to happen.

The concepts of work and energy are fundamental to understanding the behaviour and relationships of moving things in the field of physics. Knowing the difference between work and energy is essential to understanding the basic principles of physics and how they are applied in different contexts.

What is Work?

Work is defined as a task executed on something in which the force is applied and the object is moved. The Newton metre, or Joule, is the SI unit of work. To get work done, two requirements must be met:

  • The object should be responsive to a force
  • The object needs to move

A simple illustration would be to move a box 10 metres across the floor. The amount of work is determined by multiplying the applied force by the object’s displacement. The work done increases with the magnitude and displacement.

Formula Applied

The formula for calculating work (W) involves multiplying the force (F) exerted on an object by the distance (d) it is applied over and by the cosine of the angle (θ) formed by the force and the displacement. It has the mathematical representation W=Fd(cosθ).

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Gross Weight and Net Weight?

Types of Work

Work in physics can be divided into various categories according to the sort of force used and the displacement that results. These are a few types of work:

1) Mechanical Work:

The most common type of work requiring the use of force to move an object across a distance is mechanical work.

2) Gravitational Work:

The work is done when an object is moved vertically, either by gravity or against it.

3) Electrical Work:

The movement of charges inside an electric field is caused by an electric force.

4) Pressure-Volume Work (P-V Work):

The process of compressing or expanding gases.

5) Tension Work:

The action that takes place when a force is passed through a flexible connector, such as a cable or rope.

6) Spring Work:

The process of stretching or compressing a spring.

Application of Work

Work is used in a variety of industries, including engineering, mechanics, and daily tasks. It aids in our comprehension of the energy conversions that take place in machinery, the force required to perform physical activities, and the effectiveness of energy transfer mechanisms.

What is Energy?

Energy is a flexible characteristic that emerges in various ways. It is defined as the ability of matter to perform work. Heat is the result of energy being transported without generating work; this is similar to oscillatory and cyclic work. Even though heat is just a type of energy, scientists refer to it as such because of its unique characteristics.

Energy must be measurable so that instruments can measure it. Energy is measured in joules (J) in the International System of Units (SI), where 1 joule is equal to the energy needed to move a body one metre while exerting a force of one Newton.

Formula Applied

Ek = ½ mv2


Ek = kinetic energy of an object

M = mass of an object

V = speed of an object

Types of Energy

There are many different ways that energy can exist, and these ways can be divided into multiple kinds. The following are some basic forms of energy:

1) Kinetic Energy (KE):

The energy that an object has because it is moving.

2) Potential Energy (PE):

The energy that an object holds depends on its configuration or position.

3) Mechanical Energy:

The total of a system’s potential and kinetic energy.

4) Thermal Energy

A system’s inherent energy is connected to the random movement of its constituent particles.

5) Chemical Energy:

The energy that is held within a molecule’s chemical bonds.

6) Electrical Energy:

The energy involved in the flow of electrical charges.

7) Nuclear Energy:

 The energy emitted by nuclear processes.

8) Radiant (Electromagnetic) Energy: 

EMF waves, or light, carry this type of energy.

9) Vibrant Energy:

Vibrant objects’ energy is transferred through a medium.

10) Magnetic Field:

The energy results from magnetic field alignment.

Difference Between Work and Energy

There are a few differences between work and energy that are mentioned below:

1MeaningThe energy was coined in 4 BCThe capacity to produce or supply work is known as energy
2RelationshipThere is a parallel relationship between the force components and displacementThe result of the work done is energy
3ResultThe action taken on the object that resulted in some displacementIt’s referred to as a system property
4UnitScalar unitsScalar units
5FormulaWork = force × distanceDifferent equations exist based on the types of energy
6Direction ComponentWork is positive if the applied force is in the same direction as the displacementSince energy is a scalar quantity, there is no direction component
7EmploymentIf the applied force is inside the opposite direction of the displacement, that results in negative employmentThere won’t be a direction component here either, as it can be a scalar quantity
8Year of DiscoveryWork was only utilized in 1826Energy was coined in 4 BC

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Inner and Outer Planets?

Work and Energy Practise Questions

  1. How much work is done when Allen applies a force of 200 N to drag an 80kg crate 0.8m across the warehouse floor?


F = 200N

m= 80kg

d = 0.8m

Work = force x displacement

= 200 x 0.8

= 1600 J

  1. Compute the work done if 10 N of force acts on the body, showing a displacement of 2 m.


F (Force) = 10 N,

d (Displacement) = 2 m,

W (Work done) = F × d

= 10 N × 2 m

= 20 Nm

  1. A body of mass 10kg at rest is subjected to a force of 16N. Find the K.E. at the top of 10 s.


Mass m = 10 kg

Force F = 16 N

time t = 10 s

a = F/m

we know v = u + at

Kinetic energy KE: 1/2mv2

0.5 × 10 × 16 × 16


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What is power?

The amount of energy transferred per unit of time is called power.

Does energy equal work?

The pace at which work is completed and energy is used is equal, according to the work-energy theorem.

What connection exists between energy and work?

Only when energy is used can work be done. Work output will rise in tandem with energy levels, and vice versa.

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