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Friction between cart and a surface covered with a liquid?

  1. May 24, 2017 #1
    << Thread moved from the technical forums so no Homework Help Template is shown >>

    Hello,

    I'm attempting an experiment where I take a cart and slide it down a ramp. Each time, I will coat the ramp with a different liquid. I want to compare the effects of the dry ramp, a ramp with water poured on it, syrup/honey poured on it, etc. I can't find much information on this type of physics so I'm wondering if there are any equations I can use to help me show the math behind my data.

    Thank you
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2017 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Can you say what you have found so far about changes in friction and in the viscious nature and thickness of this liquid coating? What have you found so far?

    Also, is this for schoolwork or for a school lab experiment?
     
  4. May 24, 2017 #3
    This is for a school experiment, but it isn't assigned by the teacher, it's up to us to design an experiment. I haven't done the experiment yet, as I'm trying to figure out if I'll be able to find the mathematical stuff to write a full paper on this :smile::smile:
     
  5. May 24, 2017 #4

    berkeman

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    Okay, then I'll move it to our schoolwork forums where it belongs, and you can post what you find in your reading about the effects of different liquids on friction and viscosity.

    So to start, what would be the difference in the cart's final speed at the bottom of the ramp if the ramp had a very thin coating of a very low friction material like Tefloe, versus a thick coating of syrup, versus no coating at all? Assume the ramp and wheels are both wood, so normal behavior would be for the wheels to turn as the cart rolls down the ramp...
     
  6. May 24, 2017 #5
    Well I know the velocity will be greater for the low friction material. (I'm unsure as to whether a ramp with water would make the cart go faster than a dry one). And the syrup one would go much slower.
     
  7. May 24, 2017 #6

    berkeman

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    Will the cart's speed be faster or slower if the wheels spin or slip? Why? Can you show us the math?
     
  8. May 24, 2017 #7

    haruspex

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