A case in point is Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis‘ formula to compute work, as set out in his Principle of Work. We’ll work with his formula today, and we’ll introduce a unit of measurement used to quantify work known as the Newton.

de Coriolis’ formula to compute work is used to determine the amount of work, that is, the amount of dynamic energy available to influence the movement of an object, and is calculated by the formula,

Work = Force × Distance

where F represents the force acting upon an object that travels a distance of D. Force is most often expressed in metric units as kilogram • meter per second^{2}, a wordy expression which is more conveniently referred to as the Newton.

In the image below, F is the force of 178 Newtons exerted by the gardener to push his filled wheelbarrow a distance of 3 meters. The quantity 178 Newtons was obtained by way of direct personal experience working in my own garden. I’ve found that it takes approximately 40 pounds of force to push a wheelbarrow loaded with dirt across level ground. Because one pound of force is equal to 4.45 Newtons, the amount of force I exerted is expressed as,

[40 pounds of force] × [4.45 Newtons per pound force] = 178 Newtons

Work = Force × Distance

If 178 Newtons of force is required to push the wheelbarrow a distance of 3 meters, then the work performed is expressed as,

Work = 178 Newtons × 3 meters

= 534 Newton • meters

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