Q:

# What would happen if there was no friction?

A:

Without friction, energy transfer would be easier and stopping motion would be more difficult. If there was no friction, there would be no force slowing down motion when two objects rubbed against one another.

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A moving ball would stop if it hit a boulder, but without friction it would roll forever along a flat street. No matter how hard a driver jammed on the brakes, his car would not come to a stop, because brake pads rely on friction. Even the simple act of walking down the street would become dangerous. Without friction between the shoe and the street surface, walking would be much like trying to walk on an icy sidewalk. Trying to light a fire with a match would be ineffective, as striking a match relies on friction between the match head and the strike plate or another hard surface.

On the other hand, energy transfer would be more efficient. A person shoving his friend into another person would find that shove to be more powerful, because the person being shoved would not have friction with the ground to slow him down. With friction, lubricants must be used to increase the efficiency of the moving parts of machinery and decrease the heat caused by the parts rubbing together.

## Related Questions

• A:

The most common methods used to reduce friction between moving surfaces include polishing the surfaces that come into contact, lubricating the surfaces, using ball or roller bearings and streamlining. Friction is defined as the force that resists one surface from sliding or rolling against another surface. This means that friction is only present when one or both of the surfaces that are in contact are in motion.

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• A:

Friction is caused by the interactions between the sometimes microscopic roughness of different substances. As a result, friction is primarily affected by the "roughness" of an object. Friction is also affected by the mass or weight of the object as well.

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• A:

Friction is the reason humans are able to control where they move or why objects can stay in one place, but it is also the reason we must use force and lose energy to move objects and why many materials wear out and break. The reality of friction allows machines to work, humans to walk and cars to drive. However, friction also means that energy needs to constantly be exerted to move any object.

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• A:

Friction causes a moving object to slow down. Friction applies force in the opposite direction of the existing path of the object. A baseball player sliding into a base will slow down because of the friction between the ground and his body.