The importance of categorizing a force as being either internal or external is related to the ability of that type of force to change an object's total mechanical energy when it does work upon an object. When net work is done upon an object by an external force, the total mechanical energy (KE + PE) of that object is changed. If the work is positive work, then the object will gain energy. If the work is negative work, then the object will lose energy. The gain or loss in energy can be in the form of potential energy, kinetic energy, or both. Under such circumstances, the work which is done will be equal to the change in mechanical energy of the object.
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.