Work and Energy - Potential energy climbing the Eiffel tower

Problem Statement:

The Eiffel Tower’s 3rd floor is 276 m above the ground. Assuming that the efficiency of the human body to convert the energy contained in food into mechanical energy is 20%, how many times can a person of mass m = 60 kg who ingested a 2000 kilocalorie meal climb to this floor?

Note: 1 kcal = 4186 J.

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Solution:

First, we are going to calculate using the International System of Units (SI) the amount of mechanical energy obtained from the 2000 kilocalories meal:

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On the other hand, the potential energy of the person to climb n times to the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower is:

After substituting the givens of the problem we obtain:

In the problem we have used g = 10 m/s2

The calorie is a unit of energy that does not belong to the International System of Units (SI). It was used when the relationship between heat and mechanical energy had not yet been discovered. It is still used today for historical reasons.

 

 

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