Q:

How can someone increase or decrease friction?

A:

Friction can be increased by increasing the surface roughness of the objects that are in contact while friction can be decreased by smoothing out the objects or stopping the objects if moving. There are two primary types of friction used in science: static friction and kinetic friction.

Static friction is friction that happens when two objects are not moving relative to one another. An example of this kind of friction would be a desk on the ground. Kinetic friction is friction that happens when two objects are moving relative to one another. An example of this kind of friction would be a sled on the ground.

In science, friction is often quoted by two coefficients. A coefficient for static friction and a coefficient for kinetic friction. This is because the frictional force is assumed to be proportional to the coefficient of friction. Most of the time, however, the amount of force that it takes to move an object from its starting resting position into a moving position is greater than the force that it takes to keep the object moving once it has already started moving. For this reason, scientists will use the two coefficients. Friction is a complex phenomenon that cannot be represented by a simple model.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some ways to increase friction?

    A:

    The main source of attraction between two metals, or adhesion, is what causes friction, and any increase of friction requires an increase in adhesion. Friction itself is the force of resistance against two objects as one object slides or rolls over another. This force increases the amount of energy required to move an object a set distance.

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  • Q:

    What is static friction?

    A:

    Static friction is the resistance to movement when two non-moving solid objects are in contact with each other. Static friction matches applied force and prevents motion. When the applied force overcomes static friction, the object starts moving, and at this point, static friction ceases and kinetic friction comes into play.

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  • Q:

    What does friction do?

    A:

    Friction is a force that tends to stop motion or resist the motion of objects. Friction is always a negative force, which means it acts in a direction opposite to the direction of the force applied to the object. Movement of objects through air and liquids gives rise to friction.

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  • Q:

    How is friction unhelpful?

    A:

    Friction is a force that opposes motion, so it is unhelpful in all situations where the motion of an object is desired. A by-product of friction is that energy is wasted in the form of heat, which can cause problems in temperature-sensitive environments.

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