editor：gdmachinepopularity：3766pubtime：2017-07-29 07:40:46

As an **engineering expert** I’ve applied the ** Work-Energy Theorem** to diverse situations, but none as unique as its most recent application, the progress of Santa’s sleigh. Last week we saw how Santa and his reindeer team encountered a wind gust which generated enough force to slow them from an initial velocity of

Before we can work with the ** Work-Energy Theorem, **we must first revisit the formula it’s predicated upon, de Coriolis’ formula for

*KE = ½ × m × v2* (1)

where, *KE* is kinetic energy, *m* is the moving object’s mass, and *v* its velocity.

The equation behind the ** Work-Energy Theorem** is,

*W =* *KE2 *– *KE1* (2)

where *W* is the work performed, *KE1* is the moving object’s initial kinetic energy and *KE2*its final kinetic energy after it has slowed or stopped. In cases where the object has come to a complete stop *KE2* is equal to zero, since the velocity of a stationary object is zero.

In order to work with equation (2) we must first expand it into a more useful format that quantifies an object’s mass and initial and final velocities. We’ll do that by substituting equation (1) into equation (2). The result of that term substitution is,

*W =* [½ *× m × v22* ] – [½ *× m × v12*] (3)

Factoring out like terms, equation (3) is simplified to,

*W =* ½ *× m × *[*v22* – *v12*] (4)

Now according to de Coriolis, ** work** is equal to force,

*F × d =* ½ *× m × *[*v22* – *v12*] (5)

Next time we’ll apply equation (5) to Santa’s delivery flight to calculate the strength of that gust of wind slowing him down.

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