Revision Notes

1.7.5 Work

Work Done

  • Energy is the capacity of something to do work
  • Work is done whenever a force acts on an object that moves (or is moving) in the direction of the force
    • The greater the force, the greater the work
    • The larger the distance moved, the larger the work

work-force-object, IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

Work is done when a force is used to move an object a distance


  • Whenever any work is done, energy gets transferred (mechanically) from one form to another
  • The amount of energy transferred (in joules) is equal to the work done (also in joules)
energy transferred (J) = work done (J)
  • Usually, if a force acts in the direction that an object is moving then the object will gain energy
  • If the force acts in the opposite direction to the movement then the object will lose energy


Extended Only

Calculating Work Done

  • The amount of work that is done if related to the size of the force and the distance moved by the object in the direction of the force:
work done  =  force × distance moved


W = F× d
  • You can rearrange this equation with the help of the formula triangle:

Work triangle (3), IGCSE & GCSE Physics revision notes

Use the formula triangle to help you rearrange the equation

  • The units of work are joules (J) (the same as the units of energy), but can also be given as newton metres (Nm)


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