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Frictionless surface

  1. Feb 28, 2008 #1
    Is there anything that stops the formation of a perfectly frictionless surface? There isn't even enough to type to make a second sentence here.
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  3. Feb 29, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    A perfectly frictionless surface is an invented concept. So the answer is that 'everything' stops a surface from being frictionless.
  4. Feb 29, 2008 #3


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    He was asking specifically what causes friction.
  5. Feb 29, 2008 #4


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    Isn't a maglev train-track frictionless (if you ignore air resistance)?

    And how about something using a superconductor?
  6. Feb 29, 2008 #5
    It is, but I don't know if you can really call it a surface as the train isn't touching the track.

    Basically friction is caused by electromagnetic interactions between the atoms of the two objects.

    I quess that in theory, you could have two objects that consist of atoms which have the same electric charge. In that case they should repel each other, thus leading to a frictionless surface (but even in that case only between the two objects). This ofcourse is an ideal situation. In reality, the two objects always have some level of impurity which leads to more or less friction. Even if you could create a pure surface, it would instantly react with oxygen in the air. So in theory it's possible, but in reality it isn't.
  7. Feb 29, 2008 #6
    You guys basically answered my question thanks.
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