What is Frictionless surface: Definition and 82 Discussions

The frictionless plane is a concept from the writings of Galileo Galilei. In his 1608 The Two New Sciences, Galileo presented a formula that predicted the motion of an object moving down an inclined plane. His formula was based upon his past experimentation with free-falling bodies. However, his model was not based upon experimentation with objects moving down an inclined plane, but from his conceptual modeling of the forces acting upon the object. Galileo understood the mechanics of the inclined plane as the combination of horizontal and vertical vectors; the result of gravity acting upon the object, diverted by the slope of the plane.However, Galileo's equations do not contemplate friction, and therefore do not perfectly predict the results of an actual experiment. This is because some energy is always lost when one mass applies a non-zero normal force to another. Therefore, the observed speed, acceleration and distance traveled should be less than Galileo predicts. This energy is lost in forms like sound and heat. However, from Galileo's predictions of an object moving down an inclined plane in a frictionless environment, he created the theoretical foundation for extremely fruitful real-world experimental prediction.Frictionless planes do not exist in the real world. However, if they did, one can be almost certain that objects on them would behave exactly as Galileo predicts. Despite their nonexistence, they have considerable value in the design of engines, motors, roadways, and even tow-truck beds, to name a few examples.The effect of friction on an object moving down an inclined plane can be calculated as









{\displaystyle F_{\mathrm {f} }=\mu _{\mathrm {k} }F_{\mathrm {N} },}



{\displaystyle F_{\mathrm {f} }}
is the force of friction exerted by the object and the inclined plane on each other, parallel to the surface of the plane,



{\displaystyle F_{\mathrm {N} }}
is the normal force exerted by the object and the plane on each other, directed perpendicular to the plane, and



{\displaystyle \mu _{\mathrm {k} }}
is the coefficient of kinetic friction.Unless the inclined plane is in a vacuum, a (usually) small amount of potential energy is also lost to air drag.

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  1. A

    Vertical beam on a frictionless surface

    This could also be posted in the Math / differential equations sub, but it also involves the derivation which is classical physics. So I was doubting :smile:. So, I'm dusting off my dynamics a bit and found this problem of a thin beam on a frictionless surface in a different forum and decided...
  2. DavidMasabo

    Need a force to accelerate an object on a frictionless surface

    Problem Statement: would you need a force to accelerate an object on a friction-less surface? How could one calculate the force? Relevant Equations: F=MA would you need a force to accelerate an object on a friction-less surface? How could one calculate the force?
  3. M

    Conceptual Question: Block on a wedge on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement This is more of a conceptual question, but say a block was set on top of an inclined plane, which was set on top of a frictionless level surface. Would the inclined plane move? Why or why not Homework Equations None The Attempt at a Solution My thought...
  4. Dante Meira

    Move a mass on frictionless surface in a vacuum chamber

    How much energy is necessary to move one kilogram of mass horizontally for one meter on a perfectly frictionless surface inside a vacuum chamber? Assuming the initial velocity of the mass is zero, the mass is at rest.
  5. S

    Angled falling Meter Stick on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A meter stick is held 60 degrees to the horizontal on a flat frictionless surface. If it is let go what is the distance the back the stick will reach with respect to the length of the meter stick (l). Homework Equations I = 1/3 mL^2 Don't know what to use. This seems more...
  6. NoahCygnus

    A question about rolling motion of a wheel on a frictionless surface

    Let's imagine a situation where we have a wheel of mass ##M## and radius ##R## on a frictionless surface, and we apply a force ##\vec{F}## as shown in the diagram. The force will produce both linear acceleration of centre of mass ##a## and angular acceleration ##\alpha##. The wheel starts to...
  7. H

    Long rod rotating on frictionless surface

    If I take a rod of length L and lay it down on a surface with no friction and act upon it with a force F off its center of mass by let's say L/4, there will be a torque on the object and it will start to rotate around its center off mass. My question is why does the object necessarily rotate...
  8. O

    Energy Conservation: Puck on Wood on Frictionless Surface

    Homework Statement Hey all, another problem. There is a 1 meter wooden panel that is on a frictionless surface. A puck is placed on one end of the panel and is pushed towards the other side. The mass of the panel is 10 times that of the puck. Also, there is a friction coefficient of uk=0.15...
  9. S

    Motion on a frictionless Surface

    "Suppose a body is kept on frictionless surface (considering gravity is acting on a body). If we give a little push to the body, will it conitnue to be in state of motion with constant velocity or not?...If yes then why?? (Considering all resistances to be zero ..)
  10. physicsdude101

    A mass is free to move on a horizontal frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A mass m that is free to move on a horizontal frictionless surface, is attached to one end of a massless string that wraps partially around a frictionless vertical pole of radius r, as in the Figure below.You are holding onto the other end. At t=0 the mass has speed V0 in the...
  11. Arman777

    Friction Force on 2 blocks on a frictionless surface....

    Homework Statement The two blocks ##(m=16 kg)## and ##(M=88 kg )## , are not attached to each other.The coefficient of static friction between the blocks is ##μ=0.33##, but the surface beneath the larger block is frictionless.What is the minimum magnitude of the horizontal...
  12. Turhan

    How do I find the velocity in this momentum conservation problem?

    Homework Statement A 60 kg farmer ropes a 300 kg ox. Both are initially at rest, 24 m apart on a frictionless level surface. When farmer ends up pulling the ox towards him, the ox will move A) 4m, B) 5m, C) 12m, D) 20m, E) 24m . Can anyone help me solve this? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at...
  13. Anjum S Khan

    Velocity along a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A body moves down along an inclined plane from A(top) to B(bottom), and then moves on the floor in continuation to some point C. (All surfaces are frictionless) After reaching B, body is having some acceleration. But while moving from B to C, a) will it keep on...
  14. P

    Two blocks on a frictionless surface; find the force

    Homework Statement Two blocks, A and B , are being pushed on a frictionless surface by a froce of 30 N to the right, .Block A has a mass of 2.0kg, Block B, being pushed by Block A is 4.0kg. Calculate the magnitude of the force that block B exerts on Block A. Homework Equations f=ma The...
  15. C

    A rod falling on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement Consider a massless rod of length $L$ with a small mass $m1$ attached on one end, and $m2$ attached on the other end. The rod is initially in the vertical position at rest on a frictionless surface, with $m1$ on bottom and $m2$ on top. A small impulse is applied to the top...
  16. R

    Impossibility of unforced movement on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement New to physics forum, so please forgive me if I am posting this in the wrong place, but it seems to me that this is a homework-type or basic physics question. Here it is: You have a perfect cube with substantial mass sitting on a flat frictionless surface. The surface plane...
  17. V

    Recoil velocity on frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A child stands on frictionless ice and throws a snowball. Estimate the recoil velocity of the child. Homework Equations m1v1i + m2v2i =m1v1 +m2v2f 1/2mv21i + 1/2 mv22i = 1/2 mv21f + 1/2mv22f The Attempt at a Solution After choosing estimates for weight of snowball, speed of...
  18. S

    Is mass relevant on a frictionless surface?

    I was looking at a problem: http://gyazo.com/c872ea999197823a42568809f9d97d3f and I understood that the reason that the force would have to be greater on a surface with friction because the equation for the force of friction is dependent on mass (μk * mg) and with two masses it essentially...
  19. B

    System in static equilibrium given a nudge. What happens?

    We're given a problem: A 2.0 kg mass hangs from a rope attached to an unknown mass m on a frictionless ramp inclined at 20 degrees above the horizontal. This is drawn as a diagram which shows the incline at 20 degrees where the hanging mass is 2.0 kg and the attatched mass on the frictionless...
  20. J

    Collision of 2 balls on frictionless surface

    Homework Statement I am not asking you to help me solve this, so i won't put in any usefull relevant equations or attempts at a solution. The nature of my problem is more of an understanding this collision - it is more of a thinking thing to process here. The problem goes like this. Ball is...
  21. B

    Physics Graph question -- Pushing a block on a frictionless surface

    The diagram shows how a force along the x-axis varies with location. A block of mass 7.20 kg moves along the x-axis on a horizontal frictionless surface, influenced by this force. (Graph is attached) A) How much work is done by the force as the block moves from the origin to 8.0 m? B) If the...
  22. E

    What is the magnitude of acceleration for a block released up an inclined plane?

    Homework Statement 1st example: A 10 kg block is pushed up a ramp at a constant speed of 5.7 m/s. The ramp makes an angle of 30 degrees to the horizontal and the ramp is frictionless. The block is released and allowed to slide up the ramp until it stops. What is the magnitude of the...
  23. aditya ver.2.0

    On the work done on a frictionless surface

    Work done = force applied * displacement So if I exert N1 force on a mass placed over a friction less floor, then the displacement = ∞. Then won't the work done = ∞. How is possible?
  24. Nathanael

    Transition from frictionless surface to frictional surface

    Suppose you have an object sliding along a frictionless floor, but it's approaching a line where the floor changes from being frictionless to some constant coefficient of kinetic friction \mu_k When it is partially on the frictionless surface and partially on the frictional surface, would you...
  25. D

    MHB Bullet imbedding in a block on a frictionless surface

    A 10g bullet with v = 1000 m/s strikes a 100g block which is at rest. What is their combined velocity? Can this be done with conservation of energy? momemtum? Here we have inelastic collision so by conservation of momentum \[ 10\cdot 1000 + 0 = 110\cdot v_f\Rightarrow v_f =...
  26. D

    Bullet striking a block on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A 10g bullet with velocity 1000m/s strikes a 100g block at rest. What is their combined velocity? Can you work the problem with conservation of momentum? Energy? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution For conservation of momentum, we have $$ 10g\cdot...
  27. K

    Which way does the tanker truck move on frictionless surface?

    Homework Statement A tanker which is full of water is parked on a road without friction. The tanker has an outlet pipe which is on the left side. if we open this pipe does the tanker move? describe the tanker's movement. Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution The tanker moves to right...
  28. N

    Understanding the Motion of a Falling Rod on a Frictionless Surface

    A rod initially held vertically is falling on a frictionless surface when given a slight push.I just want to how the rod would move.I am thinking that the rod as a whole will move forward and also rotate about the point on the ground. Why the rod is moving forward?(if you ask me) I think that...
  29. J

    Force Applied at an Angle to an Object on Frictionless Surface

    Homework Statement The horizontal surface on which the block slides is frictionless. If F = 20 N and M = 5.0 kg, what is the magnitude of the resulting acceleration of the block? The force is applied 30° to the horizontal. Homework Equations F=ma The Attempt at a Solution I began...
  30. R

    Cylinder on frictionless surface

    hey guys...i want to know,what happens when a cylinder is rolled on a frictionless surface in a vacuum,for how long will it keep on rolling...and what happens if we applied some force...?..please help meeee...:cry:
  31. T

    Acceleration, a kid, a sled and frictionless surface

    A child sitting on a sled is pulled by a rope along a frictionless surface. The child and the sled weigh 214 N and the horizontal force on the sled is 53 N. What is the acceleration of child and sled? I am new and in the process of printing and posting the PDF flyer at my local...
  32. W

    Two blocks of mass on a ramp with a frictionless surface?

    Homework Statement Two blocks of mass m1 and m2 on a ramp with a frictionless surface? PLEASE HELP!? A diagram shows two blocks of mass m1 and m2 on a ramp with a frictionless surface. The blocks are connected by a massless string over a massless frictionless pulley. The ramp makes an angle...
  33. S

    Collision in frictionless surface

    Homework Statement three numbered cubes each of mass m placed in contact on a frictionless horizontal surface. A steady horizontal force P is applied to the end surface of 1st cube. question:will the force on each cube be P/3?
  34. C

    Forces between two blocks on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A block of mass 7.18 kg lies on a frictionless horizontal surface. The block is connected by a cord passing over a pulley to another block of mass 5.6 kg which hangs in the air, as shown. Assume the cord to be light (massless and weightless) and unstretchable and the pulley...
  35. D

    Masses connected by a pulley on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A block of mass 2.6 kg (M1) lies on a frictionless surface. Its connected by a massless pulley and string hanging over the edge of the surface of 3.17 kg (M2). Calculate the acceleration of M1(part 1). calculate the tension in the cord(part 2). the cord is...
  36. pmd28

    A person slides downa spherical, frictionless surface.

    Homework Statement A person starts from rest at the top of a large, frictionless, spherical surface, and slides into the water below. At what angle θ does the person leave the surface? (Hint: When the person leaves the surface, the normal force is zero.) Homework Equations Don't Know...
  37. B

    Rigid Body on Frictionless Surface

    Hey all, Say you have a slab sitting vertically(like a door) at rest on a frictionless surface. If you push with a horizontal force somewhere near the top(as long as it is above the center of mass), would the slab rotate(tip over)? My friend and I were originally thinking of how much...
  38. C

    Friction force pair between two stacked blocks on a frictionless surface

    Good afternoon! 1. The Setup One block of Mass M2 is resting on top of a frictionless surface. Another block, M1, is resting on top of the of the first block. There does exist a coefficient between these two blocks, μ. 2. What happens to the bottom block when a force less than μN is...
  39. A

    DC motor mounted on a glider which slides linearly on a frictionless surface

    Hi guys,if i mount a dc motor on a glider that slides in 2 directions without friction, AND, instead of having it drive a mechanism, have a circular plate with an eccentrically drilled hole in it (not centre) mounted on the motor shaft though this hole, i should observe the glider sliding back...
  40. A

    A pendulum impact hammer setting objects off on a frictionless surface.

    Hi,I want to design a crude pendulum impact device which i can use to measure initial velocities of objects on a frictionless surface. i.e measure energy at the start and end of the pendulums swing, to see how much has been absorbed into the impact. Heres my question about momentum on...
  41. D

    Find velocity of gun and bullet on frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A 30.0-kg gun is standing on a frictionless surface. The gun fires a 50.0-g bullet with a muzzle velocity of 310 m/s. a) calculate the momenta of the bullet and the gun after the fun was fired. b) calculate the kinetic energy of both the bullet and the gun just after...
  42. N

    Inverted pendulum attached to cart, cart on frictionless surface & axes

    Homework Statement As a small verification of a larger problem, I'm trying to determine how the dynamics of an inverted pendulum attached to a frictionless cart would behave. The cart has no input force applied, so all horizontal movements would be due purely to the centrifugal+normal...
  43. N

    Force over a frictionless Surface

    Hey, A certain problem in my physics textbook states that a person pushes a crate over a frictionless surface with a constant force. If the crate accelerates, wouldn't the person eventually have to start running with it in order to keep applying force to it?
  44. X

    Finding the Mass of An Object as It Slides Over a Frictionless Surface

    Homework Statement The forearm (including the hand) has a mass of 4.26 kg. The upper arm exerts the force of 14 N on the forearm. If the forearm has an acceleration of 2.54 m/s^2, determine the mass of the object being pulled by the hand. (Assume the object slides over a frictionless...
  45. M

    The Physics of Motion: Steel Ball Bearing on a Frictionless Surface

    If a 1 inch diameter steel ball bearing is at rest on a frictionless surface, what slope would be required of the surface for the ball bearing to initiate movement?
  46. D

    Kinetic Energy Change of a Cart on a Frictionless Surface

    There's a cord attached to a cart that can slide along a frictionless horizontal rail aligned along an x axis. The left end of the cord is pulled over a pulley, of negligible mass and friction and at cord height h = 1.3 m, so the cart slides from x1 = 5.0 m to x2 = 1.0 m. During the move, the...
  47. S

    Acceleration across a frictionless surface

    Hi, I am confused on the topic of friction. I thought of a question that I cannot answer. What happens if you push an object with a certain amount of force and mass on a frictionless surface? According to F=ma, you will be able to get the acceleration of the object, but how will you know...
  48. M

    Find Work of a Force Acted on Mass over Frictionless Surface

    Homework Statement A force given by F(x)=5x^3 (in \frac {N}{m^3}) acts on a 1-kg mass moving on a frictionless surface. The mass moves from x = 2m to x = 6m. a) How much work is done by the force? Homework Equations W=\int F_x from x_o to x_f The Attempt at a Solution \int 5x^3 from...
  49. A

    One spring, two masses, on a frictionless surface

    Homework Statement A mass is hung from a spring which is secured to the ceiling. We measure the frequency of the oscillation of the mass. Now we attach a second identical mass to the other end of the spring and set the system on a frictionless surface. If we now compress the spring and release...
  50. D

    [Irodov 1.65] Bar on top of a plank on a frictionless surface with a var. force.

    A plank of mass m1 with a bar of mass m2 placed on it lies on a smooth horizontal plane. A horizontal force growing with time t as F — at (a is constant) is applied to the bar. Find how the acceler-ations of the plank w1 and of the bar w2 depend on t, if the coefficient of friction between the...