Can the normal force on an object ever do work? Explain.
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Normal force can do work on an object but just under specific circumstances.
Work is by definition the product of the force exerted on an object and the distance moved by the object due to the applied force.
For the normal force to do work, it should act along the direction of the displacement of the object.
When a person is falling down or jumping up the only present force is normal force. Since, the force exerted on the object by earth and the distance traveled by the person is along the same line, we say that the normal force has done work.
So, the normal force can do work if it has a component along the direction of the displacement of the object.