Static and Kinetic Friction

# Static and Kinetic Friction - Static and Kinetic Friction...

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Static and Kinetic Friction Suppose that a horizontal force F is applied to a block resting on a rough surface (see Figure 6.1). As long as the applied force F is less than a certain maximum force (F max ), the block will not move. This means that the net force on the block in the horizontal direction is zero. Therefore, besides the applied force F, there must be a second force f acting on the block. The force f must have a strength equal to F, and it must be pointing in the opposite direction. This force f is called the friction force, and because the block does not move, we are dealing with static friction . Experiments have shown that the force of static friction is largely independent of the area of contact and proportional to the normal force N acting between the block and the surface. The static friction force is f <= u s N where u s is the coefficient of static friction (which is dimensionless). The coefficient of static friction is approximately constant (independent of N). The maximum force that can be applied without moving the block is F max = u s N Once the block has been set in motion, the force F needed to keep it in motion with a constant velocity is usually less than the critical force needed to get the motion started. In this situation we are dealing with kinetic friction and the friction force f k is given by f k = u k N where u k is the coefficient of kinetic friction . The kinetic friction force is independent of the applied force, but always points in the opposite direction. The equation for f k is not a vector equation since f k and N do not point in the same direction. Note: The friction between car tires and the road is static friction. This friction is crucial when you try to stop a car. Since the maximum static friction force is larger than the kinetic friction force, a car can be stopped fastest if we prevent the wheels from locking up. When the wheels lock up, the friction force is changed to kinetic friction (the tires and the ground are moving with respect to each other) thereby reducing the acceleration and increasing the time and length required to bring the car to a halt. Sample Problem 6-1

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Static and Kinetic Friction - Static and Kinetic Friction...

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