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What is Friction?

Friction refers to the resistance to motion of one object in relation to another thing. Unlike gravity, friction is not considered a type of fundamental force. According to scientists, this is actually caused by the electromagnetic attraction among various charged particles when the surfaces of two objects touched.

There are two major kinds of friction, namely static friction, which occurs between the surfaces of two objects that are just stationary; and the kinetic friction, which operates between two objects that are in motion. In general, the static friction is the one which prevents a stationary material from moving. The value of static friction is higher compared to the force of friction that the same objects undergo when they are in motion relative to each other. So when a thing stays stationary even when placed on an incline, you’ll know that static friction is at work and is the one that prevents it from sliding down.

In the form of liquid substances, the resistance that exists between the layers is called viscosity. Basically, the thicker the liquid, the higher its viscosity is. Since honey is thicker compared to water, it therefore contains a higher level of fluid friction.

It is also possible for the atoms that make up solid objects to undergo friction. When a block of metal goes through compression, the atoms within will move and undergo internal friction. In reality, all types of environments have friction. In space, for instance, even the tiniest particles can interrelate and cause friction.

There are several real life applications of friction. One of the most common examples is the production of fire by rubbing two sticks together just like in survival camping. This works because friction facilitates the conversion of the energy of motion into heat energy.

In addition, friction also occurs on the mechanical parts of vehicles, as well as on the gears of bikes. With this, lubricants are commonly used to prevent the wear and tear, by lessening the amount of friction that operates on the mechanical parts.

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Posted by on Nov 7th, 2014 and filed under Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.