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Physics LibreTexts

2: Applying Models to Mechanical Phenomena

  • Page ID
    19093
  • In this Chapter we continue to work with the Energy-Interaction Model. We add all kinds of mechanical interactions to the thermal interactions we treated in Chapter 1. (Note: the term “mechanical” as in the phase “mechanical interactions” is typically used to imply everything other than thermal. Since the Energy-Interaction Model literally applies to every kind of interaction that scientists have ever encountered, we will be just scratching the surface of the realm of applications of this powerful model. We will, however, devote some attention to one area of application that occurs frequently in many phenomena–all kinds of things vibrate, from atoms and molecules to bridges and skyscrapers; that is, they move back and forth or oscillate in very predictable ways.

    • 2.1: Where Are We Headed?
      In this second chapter we continue to work with the Energy-Interaction Model. We add all kinds of mechanical interactions to the thermal interactions we treated in Chapter 1. The term term “mechanical” is typically used to imply everything other than thermal. We introduce the Intro Spring-Mass Oscillator Model in this chapter as an application of the Energy-Interaction Model. The Spring-Mass Oscillator Model will also play an important role in Chapter 3 for the particle model of matter.
    • 2.2: Force
      In Chapter 1 we focused on transfers of energy due to heat.  In this Chapter, we will focus on transfers of energy due to work.  In order, to understand work, we need to understand the basics of force.
    • 2.3: Work
      We are ready to make sense of the idea of work as the transfer of energy from one physical system to another, or from one object to another.
    • 2.4: Mechanical Energy
      Mechanical energy is the energy corresponding to the speed and position of objects.  We look at how the Energy-Interaction model applies to objects that are changing speed and position. We will also look at examples of mechanical energy converting to internal energy.
    • 2.5: Spring-Mass Oscillator
      The potential energy for the spring-mass system is described in this section.
    • 2.6: Plotting Energies
      We illustration the conservation of energy by plotting energy values over the range of the interval.
    • 2.7: Force and Potential Energy
      A mathematical connection is presented between force and potential energy.
    • 2.8: Looking Back and Ahead