Integrating to Find Work

Dave Nero


This simulation calculates the work done by a force between two points. You can enter any function for f(x) and the worksheet will graph the force and calculate the integral (in cases where there is an analytic solution). The starting and end points, a and b, can be moved freely. Units are omitted, but can be assumed to be newtons for force and meters for displacement.
  1. You can also "calculate" integrals by counting the boxes that have been shaded in. Verify that doing so works. How do you need to account for boxes below the x-axis?
  2. When is the work negative (there are a few ways this can happen)?
  3. You can enter some fairly complicated functions. For example, try sin(x)^2 from 0 to 2. Does the answer make sense to you?