Joule: RRRise and Shine Adabot! It’s time for work!

Adabot: Work?

Joule: Work!

Adabot: Ok!

Adabot: Who are you? – and what are we working on?

Joule: My name is James Prescott Joule - perhaps you’ve heard of me?

Adabot: I think so - aren’t you a scientist?

Joule: Exactly! I’ve spent my entire career studying the way things work.

Adabot: What do you mean by work, exactly?

Joule: So happy you asked! Let’s get working and I’ll explain!

Adabot: umm - ok.

Joule: Long ago I defined work as force multiplied by distance. So if we know how much force is applied over a certain distance, then we can know how much work has been accomplished.

Adabot: Force multiplied by distance?

Joule: Exactly! As I’m sure you know, It takes much more work to lift something up above your head than it does to raise it a few inches off the ground.  And when we measure force multiplied by distance, we do so using a unit of measurement known as the joule.

Adabot: Wait, I thought you were named Joule?

Joule: I am! I named this unit of measurement after myself - it is my life’s work after all.

Adabot: That makes sense.

Joule: Let me give you an example.

Adabot: ok

Joule: To the table!

Adabot: To the table!

Adabot: Ooh - how ‘bout them apples!

Joule: Indeed, Adabot.  So, it takes a force of about 1 Newton to lift this apple. And if I lift this apple 1 meter then I’ve done 1 Joule of work!

Adabot: Ok - but what if you lifted forty apples?

Joule: Forty apples would be forty joules of work!

Adabot: Woah - that’s a lot of work!.

Joule: Indeed.

Adabot: Indeed.

Joule: So if we light this 3 Watt LED for 3 seconds- then we’ve done 9 Joules of work: 3 watts times 3 seconds equals 9 joules.

Now, similarly - If we light this 60 Watt incandescent bulb for one hour, then we’ll have done 216,000 Joules of work. 

Adabot: Woah - that’s a lot of joules!

Joule: Exactly.  So, if you really wanted to save power,you might consider using something like this - a 12 watt LED bulb.

Adabot: Oh - that would be smart move.

Joule: Indeed, Adabot.

Adabot: So, to calculate joules … we multiply force and distance … or power and time.

Joule: Precisely Adabot! 

Joule: So - are you ready to get to work?

Adabot: I think so …

Joule: Good - because we’re scheduled for 5,000 joules of work today.

Adabot: Wait - what?!

Joule: Come on Adabot! Let’s make hay while the sun is shining!

Adabot: Wait - there’s hay now too?!

Joule: It’s just an expression, Adabot - come on!

This guide was first published on Aug 26, 2016. It was last updated on Aug 26, 2016.

This page (Transcript) was last updated on Aug 26, 2016.

Text editor powered by tinymce.