Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 6 - Work and Energy - Questions: 23


When one goes straight up, a large force is needed to counteract gravity (which acts straight downward), and a large power is also needed. If one takes a zigzag trail, the required force is smaller (it must be applied over a longer distance, to do the same amount of work) and less power is required (assuming the climbing time is longer).

Work Step by Step

If the mountain has height h and the climber has mass m and weight mg, the amount of work done to lift the climber to the top is mgh. If the entire process requires a time T, then the power supplied is $\frac{mgh}{T}$. Taking more time to do the work in the zigzag path and taking steps that are less steep requires less power output from the climber.
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