what is the actual 'mechanism' of friction


by lntz
Tags: actual, friction, mechanism
lntz
lntz is offline
#1
Mar16-12, 06:03 AM
P: 53
in mechanics and physics we are forever talking about friction and using it to solve problems.

but what actually is friction?

is it as simple as saying how rough a surface is? that doesn't sound adequate to me.

if that were the case then i'd expect all materials to have the same coefficient of friction if they were as flat as a mirror for example.

i have a feeling that it probably has something to do with interactions between electrons on the surfaces of the two materials in contact.

please can somebody describe the actual reason we feel a friction force.

thanks.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists design quantum switches which can be activated by single photons
'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning
Higher-order nonlinear optical processes observed using the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser
Lsos
Lsos is offline
#2
Mar16-12, 10:00 AM
P: 768
Roughness does play a part, but not the only part. I don't know about electrons, but as you suggest there are also intermolecular forces at play that determine friction.

Ultimately there are many factors. Books have been written on the subject, and you're certainly not the only one who doesn't uderstand it. In fact, nobody fully does.
cyberfish99
cyberfish99 is offline
#3
Mar16-12, 11:13 AM
P: 23
I'm just taking a little bit of a wild stab at this, but I would assume that certain materials have a molecular adhesion or attraction which causes much more friction!


Register to reply

Related Discussions
the possible vs the actual General Discussion 64
Finding actual static friction given mass, external force, and angle. Advanced Physics Homework 2
mechanism to allow for evolution. How did this mechanism come to be? Biology 72
actual infinitesimal, actual infinity General Math 8