# 5.1 Friction  (Page 5/12)

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But the atomic-scale view promises to explain far more than the simpler features of friction. The mechanism for how heat is generated is now being determined. In other words, why do surfaces get warmer when rubbed? Essentially, atoms are linked with one another to form lattices. When surfaces rub, the surface atoms adhere and cause atomic lattices to vibrate—essentially creating sound waves that penetrate the material. The sound waves diminish with distance and their energy is converted into heat. Chemical reactions that are related to frictional wear can also occur between atoms and molecules on the surfaces. [link] shows how the tip of a probe drawn across another material is deformed by atomic-scale friction. The force needed to drag the tip can be measured and is found to be related to shear stress, which will be discussed later in this chapter. The variation in shear stress is remarkable (more than a factor of ${\text{10}}^{\text{12}}$ ) and difficult to predict theoretically, but shear stress is yielding a fundamental understanding of a large-scale phenomenon known since ancient times—friction.

## Phet explorations: forces and motion

Explore the forces at work when you try to push a filing cabinet. Create an applied force and see the resulting friction force and total force acting on the cabinet. Charts show the forces, position, velocity, and acceleration vs. time. Draw a free-body diagram of all the forces (including gravitational and normal forces).

## Section summary

• Friction is a contact force between systems that opposes the motion or attempted motion between them. Simple friction is proportional to the normal force $N$ pushing the systems together. (A normal force is always perpendicular to the contact surface between systems.) Friction depends on both of the materials involved. The magnitude of static friction ${f}_{\text{s}}$ between systems stationary relative to one another is given by
${f}_{\text{s}}\le {\mu }_{\text{s}}N,$
where ${\mu }_{\text{s}}$ is the coefficient of static friction, which depends on both of the materials.
• The kinetic friction force ${f}_{\text{k}}$ between systems moving relative to one another is given by
${f}_{\text{k}}={\mu }_{\text{k}}N,$
where ${\mu }_{\text{k}}$ is the coefficient of kinetic friction, which also depends on both materials.

## Conceptual questions

Define normal force. What is its relationship to friction when friction behaves simply?

The glue on a piece of tape can exert forces. Can these forces be a type of simple friction? Explain, considering especially that tape can stick to vertical walls and even to ceilings.

When you learn to drive, you discover that you need to let up slightly on the brake pedal as you come to a stop or the car will stop with a jerk. Explain this in terms of the relationship between static and kinetic friction.

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