# Coefficient of Friction Lab: Can Static Be Less Than Kinetic?

• iggy2789
In summary, static friction is the force that opposes motion between two surfaces when there is no relative motion between them, while kinetic friction is the force that opposes motion between two surfaces when there is relative motion between them. In a coefficient of friction lab, a block or object is placed on a surface and a force is gradually applied until the block starts to slide. The force needed to overcome static friction is measured and divided by the weight of the block to calculate the coefficient of static friction. The same process is repeated for kinetic friction, with the force needed to maintain motion divided by the weight of the block to calculate the coefficient of kinetic friction. It is possible for the coefficient of static friction to be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction, which can
iggy2789
I am doing a lab on friction and i was asked the question: "Can the coefficient of stastic friction ever be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction?"

Thnak you

iggy2789 said:
I am doing a lab on friction and i was asked the question: "Can the coefficient of stastic friction ever be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction?"

Thnak you

The same link over and over again: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/frict2.html" . Hope it helps.

Last edited by a moderator:

Yes, it is possible for the coefficient of static friction to be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction in certain situations. The coefficient of friction is a measure of the resistance to motion between two surfaces in contact. In general, the coefficient of static friction is greater than the coefficient of kinetic friction, as it takes more force to overcome the initial resistance and set an object in motion than to keep it moving.

However, there are cases where the coefficient of static friction can be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction. One example is when the two surfaces in contact have different materials and surface textures. In this case, the static friction coefficient may be lower because the surfaces are not as well-matched and do not create as much resistance to motion.

Additionally, the coefficient of static friction can decrease as the applied force increases, while the coefficient of kinetic friction remains constant. This is known as the Coulomb friction model, where the coefficient of static friction decreases as the normal force increases.

It is important to note that the coefficients of friction are not inherent properties of a material, but rather depend on the specific surfaces and conditions of the contact. Therefore, it is possible for the coefficient of static friction to be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction, but it is not a common occurrence. Further experimentation and analysis may be needed to determine the exact cause of this difference in coefficients.

## 1. What is the difference between static and kinetic friction?

Static friction is the force that opposes motion between two surfaces when there is no relative motion between them, while kinetic friction is the force that opposes motion between two surfaces when there is relative motion between them.

## 2. How is the coefficient of friction determined in a lab?

In a coefficient of friction lab, a block or object is placed on a surface and a force is gradually applied until the block starts to slide. The force needed to overcome static friction is measured and divided by the weight of the block to calculate the coefficient of static friction. The same process is repeated for kinetic friction, with the force needed to maintain motion divided by the weight of the block to calculate the coefficient of kinetic friction.

## 3. Can the coefficient of static friction be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction?

Yes, it is possible for the coefficient of static friction to be less than the coefficient of kinetic friction. This can occur when there are surface imperfections or when the surfaces are not perfectly flat. In these cases, the initial force needed to overcome static friction may be less than the force needed to maintain motion.

## 4. How does the coefficient of friction affect an object's motion?

The coefficient of friction directly affects an object's motion by determining the amount of force needed to move the object. A higher coefficient of friction means more force is needed to overcome static friction and maintain motion, while a lower coefficient of friction means less force is needed.

## 5. What are some real-life applications of understanding the coefficient of friction?

Understanding the coefficient of friction is important in many real-life applications, such as designing car tires and brake systems, determining the best materials for different types of flooring, and creating efficient conveyor belts. It also plays a role in sports, as athletes need to have a good understanding of the coefficient of friction in order to maximize their performance on different surfaces.

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