I was trying to solve a problem, where we had two masses stacked on top of each other. A force was applied on the lower mass, towards the right side. If we assume, the surface between the ground and the system is smooth, and the surface between the two blocks is rough, I face a small confusion.
Note that my confusion is not related to how to solve the problem, it's regarding an intuitive understanding of how friction works.
If the net acceleration of the lower block is toward the right, then the lower block would experience some friction toward the left, opposing the motion.
The upper block will thus experience some friction toward the right, which will accelerate it toward the direction of the moving block. This second part is what confuses me the most.
First of all, why does the upper and lower blocks experience friction in opposite directions? Secondly, this system has been compared to the following: Imagine the lower block moving to the right. This is the same as the upper block moving to the left, and hence the friction on the upper block works towards the right, making it move in the direction of the lower block. But, if the upper block moves to the right now, shouldn't friction work to the left again, and cancel out this motion, keeping the upper box fixed in its place, until it falls down ?
How does friction create motion ? Isn't it supposed to oppose the motion ?
I've done the necessary FBD and convinced myself this is what happens, but intuitively, I'm unable to make sense of this. How does the two-block experience friction in opposite directions, and more importantly, how does friction make one of them move, if friction is supposed to oppose motion?
Are these opposing directions of friction for the two blocks, just mere consequences of the third law ?