Work Done by a Constant Force

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The Work Done by a Constant Force is defined as the product of the object’s displacement and the component of the constant force that is parallel to the direction of displacement. It is vital to remember that the work done by a constant force is always directly proportional to the product of the amount of the applied force and the displacement of the object to which the force was applied.

The type of work done can be divided into three categories. There are three types of work: positive, negative, and zero. The nature of work is determined by the angle formed by force and displacement. Positive work is defined as work done when an applied force displaces an object in its direction. Let us take a deep look into the concepts associated with work done by a constant force.

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Work Done by a Constant Force

A constant force is considered to have done work on an object when it operates across a long distance. The change in kinetic energy that an object experiences is defined as work done on it. Both of these claims will be extensively demonstrated.

Definition of Work Done by a Constant Force

“If the force is constant, the work done on an object can be defined as the product of the force applied to the object and the distance traveled by the object in the direction of the force. The force will be constant in all conditions when the acceleration of a body is constant.”

The French mathematician Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis coined the term work in 1826 to refer to weight carried through a height, inspired by the use of early steam engines to move buckets of water out of flooded ore mines. The newton-meter or joule is the SI unit of work (J).

Types of Work Done by a Constant Force

Depending on the angle between the force and the displacement, the work done by a force with constant magnitude can be positive, zero, or negative.


Positive work: When a force moves an object in its direction, the work done is positive. The motion of a ball descending toward the earth while it is displaced in the direction of the force of gravity is an example of this type of work.

Negative work: When the force and displacement point in opposing directions, the work is said to be negative. For example, if a ball is thrown above, its displacement will be upwards as well, yet the force owing to the earth’s gravity will be downward.

Zero work: If the force and displacement directions are perpendicular to each other, the work done by the force on the item is zero.

SI Unit of Work Done by a Constant Force

Dimensional analysis is one method for determining whether or not a phrase is correct. We stated that work is the change in kinetic energy of an object and that it is also equal to the force multiplied by the distance. These two should have equivalent units. The units of kinetic energy(or energy)is joules (J). Similarly, force is measured in newtons (N), and distance is measured in meters (m). If the two propositions are equivalent, they should also be equivalent.


Examples of Work Done by a Constant Force

The work done by a constant force is the product of the force component in the direction of motion multiplied by the distance across which the force acts. The following are examples of work done by a constant force.

  • A person holding a briefcase does not work on it because there is no movement. There is no energy transmission to or from the briefcase. Moving the briefcase horizontally at a constant speed accomplishes no work and transfers no energy.
  • Because there must be a component of force F in the direction of motion, work is done on the briefcase by moving it upstairs at a constant speed. Energy is transmitted to the bag, which can be employed to perform work.

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