A hammer head with mass 0.5 kg strikes the head of a nail at a speed of 10m/s .The nail is driven 1 cm into a piece of wood. What is the average force on the nail?

Because the hammer is moving it possesses kinetic energy = 0.5xmassx(velocity^2) So in this case: kinetic energy = 0.5x0.5x(10^2)=25 Joules. When the hammer hits the nail it transfers this energy to the nail in order to move it 1cm (0.01m). A transfer of energy is known as "work done" and work done = force x distance. So, force = work done / distance = 25 / 0.01 = 2500N Answer: Average force = 2500 Newtons.
04 December 2010
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