March 20 [Tue], 2012, 9:46
In physics, mechanical work is a scalar quantity that can be described as the product of a force times the distance through which it acts, and it is called the work of the force. Only the component of a force in the direction of the movement of its point of application does work. The term work was first coined in 1826 by the French mathematician Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis.
If a constant force of magnitude F acts on a point that moves d in the direction of the force, then the work W done by this force is calculated W=Fd. For example, if a force of 10 newtons (F=10 N) acts along a path of 2 metres (d =2 m), it will do work W equal to W =(10 N)(2 m) = 20 N*m =20 J, where joule (J) is the SI unit for work (defined as the product N*m, so that a joule is a newton-metre).