# Tagged Questions

The resistance a surface or object encounters when moving over another.

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### What does it mean for two objects to “touch”?

If you've ever been annoyingly poked by a geek, you might be familiar with the semi-nerdy obnoxious response of "I'm not actually touching you! The electrons in the atoms of my skin are just ...
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### Dependence of Friction on Area

Is friction really independent of area? The friction force, $f_s = \mu_s N$. The equation says that friction only depends on the normal force, which is $N = W = mg$, and nature of sliding surface, ...
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### What is the cause of rolling friction? & why is it less than sliding friction?

Rolling friction is the resistance to motion experienced by a body when it rolls upon another. It is much less than sliding friction for same pair of bodies. When one body rolls upon another, there ...
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### Why are there both Static and Kinetic Friction?

When dragging an object, there is a greater start-up force than the force it takes to keep it moving. Why is this? Why are there two different values for friction?
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### Would a pendulum swing indefinitely in a frictionless vacuum?

I am attempting to settle a friendly bet. Would a pendulum swing indefinitely in a hypothetical vacuum (i.e. no air resistance) having a hypothetical frictionless bearing (i.e. no energy lost due to ...
3k views

### Why is the equation for friction so simple?

The general equation for the force of friction (static or kinetic) is $F_f = \mu * F_N$, where $F_f$ is the force of friction and $\mu$ is the coefficient of friction (its value is dependent upon the ...
737 views

### The secret behind the spinning, asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top?

When you spin an asymmetrically weighted, 2D disk-shaped top, the heavy part actually rises to the top. Why is this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0SZZTBQmEs ...
28k views

### Can the coefficient of static friction be less than that of kinetic friction?

I was recently wondering what would happen if the force sliding two surfaces against each other were somehow weaker than kinetic friction but stronger than static friction. Since the sliding force is ...
819 views

It has come to the point in my computing program now where I have 5 swinging pendulums that are all modified at once by slider values. These values are drawn onto the from and passed through the class ...
12k views

### Two masses attached to a spring

I'm trying to understand the solution of the following problem. Two masses $m_{1}$ and $m_{2}$ slide freely in a horizontal frictionless track and are connected by a spring whose force constant is ...
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### Does the force of kinetic friction increase with the relative speed of the objects involved? If not, why not?

Does the force of kinetic friction increase with the relative speed of the objects involved? I have heard and read that the answer is no. This is counter intuitive, and is a big part of why the ...
14k views

### After what speed air friction starts to heat up an object?

I understand that air friction cools off an object at low speeds. For example, if you blow on a spoon of hot soup, it cools off. Or if you swing a hot frying pan in the air, it cools off faster. But ...
14k views

### Torque Required For a Motor to Move an Object on Wheels?

I've been attempting to calculate how much torque a motor needs to produce in order to start a stationary object on wheels moving. (The torque is being applied to the rear 2 wheels, the front 2 are on ...
18k views

### Why do people recommend wider tyres in car for better road grip?

Tyre companies boast of their wider tires for better grip on road. Also, the F1 cars have broad tires for better grip. But as far as I know Friction does not depend on the surface area of contact ...
731 views

### Friction forces and sliding slabs

I have 2 questions, one generalizing the other. Question 1: Suppose we have 2 slabs resting horizontally on a table. Assume there is friction between the 2 slabs as well as between the bottom slab ...
418 views

### Lagrangian and Hamiltonian EOM with dissipative force

I am trying to write the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian for the forced Harmonic oscillator before quantizing it to get to the quantum picture. For EOM $$m\ddot{q}+\beta\dot{q}+kq=f(t),$$ I write the ...
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### why making a surface “super” smooth increases the coefficient of friction?

I read that: If you take a rough surface and make it smooth, the coefficient of friction decreases. But if you make it super smooth, then the coefficient of friction increases. How come?
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### Is gecko-like friction Coulombic? What is the highest known Coulombic $\mu_s$ for any combination of surfaces?

Materials with large coefficients of static friction would be cool and useful. Rubber on rough surfaces typically has $\mu_s\sim1-2$. When people talk about examples with very high friction, often ...
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### Friction between atoms in spring

if i doing experiment on spring-mass system in vaccum,if i pull the to some extent (within elastic limit of spring) & let it go,will the system oscillate indefinitely? (neglect contact frictions ...
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### Why are a motorcycle's front brakes more effective than back?

I've noticed that when I apply the front brakes on my bike it stops quite quickly. If I apply the back brakes at the same speed, it skids rather than stopping quickly. Why?
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### Static Friction - Only thing that can accelerate a train?

I'm a computer programmer that never studied physics in school and now it's coming back to bite me a bit in some of the stuff I'm being asked to program. I'm trying to self study some physics and ...
2k views

### Why doesn't a fly fall off the wall?

Pretty simple question, but not an obvious answer at least not to me. I mean you can't just place a dead fly on the wall and expect it to stay there, he will fall off due to gravity. At first I ...
12k views

### Does a car use friction to move?

When a car's engine injects fuel into the cylinder chambers, the reaction creates a force that generates rotational momentum to the shaft and over the transmission, it translates that power to the ...
739 views

### Comparing Static Frictions

In this figure, which of the static frictional forces will be more? My aim isn't to solve this particular problem but to learn how is static friction distributed . Since each of the rough-surfaces ...
2k views

### finding angular velocity and regular velocity when bouncing off a surface with friction

Take the game of pong as a simple example. When you hit the ball with a paddle that has a frictional surface, the ball will spin as well as change direction according to the coefficient of kinetic ...
853 views

### Change in appearance of liquid drop due to gravity

A liquid drop is spherical in shape due to surface tension. But why does it appear as a vertical line under the free-fall due to gravity? (E.g. During a rain - falling raindrop) Is there a specified ...
2k views

### Does a ski racer with a larger mass have an advantage?

Does a ski racer with a greater mass have an advantage over a racer with a lesser mass? If mass of one racer is 54 kg and the mass of a more slender racer is 44 kg I know the speed at which they ...
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### Direction of friction when a car turns

When a ball moves to the right, friction acts to oppose the motion, in other words, to the left. However, when a car travels around a bend, the friction acts in the perpendicular direction to the ...
39k views

### Block on a block problem, with friction

Consider two blocks, one on top of the other on a frictionless table, with masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ respectively. There is appreciable friction between the blocks, with coefficients $\mu_s$ and $\mu_k$ ...
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### Does a tire need to slip to generate force?

Recently, I have been doing some research on racing and tire modelling. While I was doing this, I encountered many curves like those shown below. While I understand the need of slip angles to ...
14k views

### Static as opposed to Kinetic Friction in Rolling Motion

During analysis of rolling motion, why do we consider coefficient of friction as that of static friction and not kinetic friction?
3k views

### How does static friction increase with increase in the applied force?

My book says that 'Between surface of contact between two bodies there are contact forces applied between each other (they are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction,obeying Newton's 3rd law) ...
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### Can a pool ball change direction mid-roll?

In this youtube video, a pool shark consistently gets the cue ball to drastically change direction mid-roll (i.e. while after he's hit it). Is this theoretically possible without using trick balls? If ...
4k views

### Why does friction play the role of centripetal force during the turning of a car?

What makes frictional force the centripetal force of a car turning along a curve? As friction is the opposing force and acts anti-parallel so there is no component of frictional force towards the ...
5k views

### Which force makes a wheel roll down the hill? What causes friction?

A wheel rolling down a hill has two axis of rotation. One is where the center or mass is and the other is the point of contact with the surface which acts as a fulcrum. I was trying to understand ...
3k views

### Why does friction cause a car to turn?

I've had a lot of difficulty conceptually understanding the physics of how a car turns on an unbanked curve, so I'm hoping you could help me out. When a car is moving in uniform circular motion, we ...
1k views

### A block on a wedge

The system is as follows - Friction exists only between the 2 blocks. I am trying to find out the accelerations of $m_1$ and $m_2$. Let $a_2$ be acceleration of $m_2$, and $a_x$ and $a_y$ be the ...
304 views

### Period of a simple pendulum accounting for friction

The period of a simple pendulum is $$T=2\pi\sqrt{\ell/g},$$ but no where in there do I see that it accounts for friction. Does it somehow account for friction, and if not, how could you do that?
720 views

### Is work done in rolling friction?

I am confused by rolling friction. Suppose you have a cylinder rolling which starts at rest at the top of an incline plane and begins to roll down the plane without slipping. Is work done by the ...
3k views

### Why do we take small steps while walking on ice?

When we walk on ice we should take small steps. Small steps ensure: a.)larger friction. b.)small friction. c.)larger normal force. d.)smaller normal force. The correct ...
565 views

### What happens when two smooth surfaces touch?

I am wondering what will be the physics to explain how two neutral, chemically nonreactive objects stick. I know that using van der Waals formalism, we can treat neutral body electrodynamic forces and ...
3k views

### Would a three wheeled vehicle be faster than a four wheeled vehicle of the same weight?

If I have a four wheeled vehicle (small wooden block with metal nail axles and plastic wheels) and apply a force X to it, would it be made faster by keeping one wheel off the ground in order to reduce ...
8k views

### How does rubbing cause the transfer of electrons from one object to the other? [duplicate]

I have just learnt about electrostatics. Why would there be a transfer of electrons? Is it because of the difference of the materials (i.e. triboelectric series)? So in the case of two different ...
232 views

### Does drag produce heat?

When a solid object moves through a fluid drag is produced. Does this drag produce heat? I believe drag should produce heat as it is the friction between fluid and surface of object. Is this true or ...
1k views

### Rope wrapped around a cylinder

If a rope is wrapped aound a cylinder what is the relationship between the amount of wrap and the ability to resist slipping off of the cylinder? An example would be if I had a 180 degree wrap and ...
2k views

### Why does a tire produce more traction when sliding slightly?

It is well known in racing that driving the car on the ideal "slip angle" of the tire where it is crabbing slightly from the pointed direction produces more cornering speed than a lower slip angle or ...
488 views

### How does a bowl of hot water move by itself?

I think everyone should have seen a bowl of hot water moving by itself on a flat surface such as glass(seems like it is moving by itself but maybe there are some external force applied to it when it ...
909 views

### Skiing downhill

The other day on skiing holiday we've been arguing about whether an adult has weight advantage over a child when skiing downhill. I was claiming that gravity is a constant regardless of object's ...