What is the total work they do on the supertanker?

Two tugboats pull a disabled supertanker. Each tug exerts a
constant force of 1.90×106 N, one at an angle 19.0 west of north,
and the other at an angle 19.0 east of north, as they pull the
tanker a distance 0.870 km toward the north.

What is the total work done by the two tugboats on the

Express your answer in joules, to three significant figures.


General guidance

Concepts and reason
The concepts required to answer the problem are resolution of forces and work done due to a force.

The direction of forces applied is given. The forces can be resolved into its components and the net force can be calculated. Also, as the displacement of the supertanker is given, the work done by the tugboats can be calculated.


The forces are said to be balanced, when the net force along a specific direction is zero.

Resolution of forces is the splitting of a forces into its different components which are perpendicular to each other.

Fsin e

The Force F can be split into two components as shown

F = F +F,

Here Fis the net force, хis the horizontal component of force, у is the vertical component of force

F F cos0Fsin0

Here Fis the force and is the angle made by the force with axis.

Work is said to be done when a force acts on body and displaces it by some distance.

It is given by

Fd cos 0

Here, Fis the force, is the displacement and is the angle between force vector and displacement vector.

Its unit is Joules and is denoted by J.


Step 1 of 2

The given forces can be resolved as follow

North 2F cos19
F sin 190
Fsin 19

Since, the force’s component towards East is equal to the force’s components towards west, the force along East – West line will be balanced.

The other component of forces lies in the same direction, towards the North. Therefore, net force will be towards the north.

Net force is towards north is given by

Е - 2F cos19°

Substitute 1.90x 10 N for F

Fn - 2(190x10N) соs19°
Е -3.59х10°N

The two forces due to tugboats is split into its components, along North-South and East- West line. It is observed that, the East-West components of both the forces are equal and opposite. Therefore, forces along East-West line are balanced. The components along North- South line are equal and in the same direction (towards North), therefore, the net force will be towards North and will be equal to sum of both the components. The expression for net force was derived and further the values were substituted.

Step 2 of 2

Work done is given by

W.D Fd cos 0

Substitute 3.59x10 N for F, 0.870x10m for and 00 for

WD-(3.59x10 N) (0.870x10m)cos 0

wD-(3.59x10 N) (0.870x10m)
W.D 3.12x10j

The work done by the tugboats is W.D 3.12X10°J

The magnitude of net force was calculated in the previous part and its direction was towards the North. The displacement of the supertanker is given and its direction is also towards the North. Therefore, angle between the net force and displacement is 00. The value of net force and displacement was substituted in the work done formula and the total work done by the tugboats was calculated.


The work done by the tugboats is W.D 3.12X10°J

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