# Is there a contradiction in Halliday and Resnick?

• I
• Heisenberg1993
In summary, friction is a complex and often misunderstood force. It acts in the direction opposite to the motion of the surfaces in contact, but also depends on various factors such as the orientation of the surfaces and the applied forces. Its behavior is not fully understood and can vary in different situations.
Heisenberg1993
In Chapter 11, section 11-4, subsection friction and rolling, it is stated that the static frictional force is along the same direction as the direction of motion because the point of contact of the wheel with the floor is moving in the opposite direction. Then, in the next subsection, the same situation but with an inclined plane is discussed, yet now the frictional force is opposing the direction of motion. Could someone please clarify this issue for me?

Heisenberg1993 said:
In Chapter 11, section 11-4, subsection friction and rolling, it is stated that the static frictional force is along the same direction as the direction of motion because the point of contact of the wheel with the floor is moving in the opposite direction. Then, in the next subsection, the same situation but with an inclined plane is discussed, yet now the frictional force is opposing the direction of motion. Could someone please clarify this issue for me?
Friction acts forwards on the rear wheel of a bicycle when you're peddling, and this allows you to speed up. But friction acts backwards on the front wheel all the time and on the rear wheel when you stop peddling and when you brake.

Maybe the book is discussing the different situations?

https://www.physicsforums.com/attachments/110502.gif

vanhees71
Hello NascentOxygen
Indeed the book is discussing a different situation. It is discussing the motion of a single wheel, not one that is related to another by the gears of the bike. If you have the book, extended 8th edition, please read it on page 279.

No, I don't have the book. But I reiterate that the direction that friction acts differs according to whether the wheel is driving or is driven.

Q: A heavy wheel rolling uphill is being kept turning by its inertia, so friction will be acting (a) in the direction of travel, or (b) opposite to the direction of travel?
A: ?

If this doesn't address your concerns, can you photograph the page and crop it to only what is needed, then attach it to your post here?

The force of friction acts in the direction of motion of the surfaces in contact not the direction of motion of the whole object. In case of the bicycle the wheel in contact with the ground is moving opposite the bicycle motion whereas for the inclined plane the block and its contact surface are moving in the same direction.

Oops the force of friction acts in the opposite direction of the moving surface.

I've attached the relevant sections. Please read them and clarify the misunderstanding
Thanks

#### Attachments

• chapter 11 1.png
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• chapter 11 2.png
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Figure 11-7 isn't a complete free body diagram because there is no indication of a force that would cause the wheel to accelerate to the right. Assuming the wheel is a bicycle wheel we could draw an "applied torque" at the center of the wheel, but we could also imagine the torque is supplied by an applied force acting at point P. To give the applied torque the proper direction, this applied force would act to the left. The direction of the frictional force opposes the applied force.

In Figure 11-8 , if you change the problem so the wheel is a bicycle wheel and a cyclist is trying to accelerate down the incline plane, then we can imagine that the the torque of the cyclist is produced by a force acting at P and pointing up the plane. In that case friction would act to oppose that force and it would point down the plane. In the problem showing in figure 11-8, there is no applied torque besides the frictional force and to explain the sense of rotation of the wheel, we have to point the force of friction up the plane.

As to whether those figures are inconsistent with the words in the text, it's hard to say. (We don't see all of them!). I don't find it easy to apply the concept that "the direction of friction opposes the direction of slipping" when slipping would imply "standing still" as in figure 11-7.

Friction is a peculiar force. It has a primitive sort of intelligence. If a block is stationary on an incline plane , friction "knows" to exert a force up the plane that exactly counteracts the component of gravity pointing down the plane. Is it Nature that knows how to do this ? - or is friction a force invented by human beings in order to balance the books?

Stephen Tashi said:
Friction is a peculiar force. It has a primitive sort of intelligence. If a block is stationary on an incline plane , friction "knows" to exert a force up the plane that exactly counteracts the component of gravity pointing down the plane. Is it Nature that knows how to do this ? - or is friction a force invented by human beings in order to balance the books?
One could say much the same thing about the reaction force that a wall exerts on you when you push against it. As the force that you exert increases, so does the reaction force... up to some limit, whereupon you push the wall over or you punch a hole through it.

jtbell said:
One could say much the same thing about the reaction force that a wall exerts on you when you push against it. As the force that you exert increases, so does the reaction force... up to some limit, whereupon you push the wall over or you punch a hole through it.

And frictional forces and reaction forces are smarter than many physics students who sometimes draw them pointing the wrong way!

Here is how Feynman explains friction.

http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_12.html

Perhaps you will get the impression that Feynman explains the topic much more thoroughly than those "other" textbooks and it actually makes sense? Thank you Professor Feynman, wish you were still around to enlighten us!

vanhees71
David Reeves said:
Here is how Feynman explains friction.

http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_12.html

Part of his explanation is:
It is quite difficult to do accurate quantitative experiments in friction, and the laws of friction are still not analyzed very well, in spite of the enormous engineering value of an accurate analysis.

Stephen Tashi said:
Part of his explanation is:

This is one reason it's such a great explanation. Feynman was honest. I think it's great that he states what we don't know, instead of presenting a false picture of certainty. Among other things it's a challenge to people to figure things out. Elsewhere Feynman says not to worry if you don't understand QM, because no one does. Yet he helped develop QED.

Thank you all for your interesting ideas

Stephen Tashi said:
Friction is a peculiar force. It has a primitive sort of intelligence. If a block is stationary on an incline plane , friction "knows" to exert a force up the plane that exactly counteracts the component of gravity pointing down the plane. Is it Nature that knows how to do this ? - or is friction a force invented by human beings in order to balance the books?
The surfaces are not free to slide due to weak chemical bonds between them. The greater the force that pushes the surfaces together, the more bonds form. The force of friction is the tension needed to break those chemical bonds. Friction opposes movement because it is a “bond”.

houlahound

## 1. What is the contradiction in Halliday and Resnick?

The contradiction in Halliday and Resnick refers to a discrepancy between two different solutions or explanations in the textbook's content. This can be caused by errors, inconsistencies, or differing perspectives.

## 2. How common are contradictions in Halliday and Resnick?

Contradictions in Halliday and Resnick are relatively rare, as the textbook has been thoroughly reviewed and edited by experts in the field. However, errors can still occur, and students should always consult with their instructor if they come across a potential contradiction.

## 3. How can I identify a contradiction in Halliday and Resnick?

A contradiction in Halliday and Resnick can be identified by carefully reading and analyzing the content. Look for discrepancies or inconsistencies between solutions, explanations, or equations. You can also consult with your instructor or other experts in the field.

## 4. What should I do if I find a contradiction in Halliday and Resnick?

If you come across a potential contradiction in Halliday and Resnick, you should first double-check your understanding and calculations. If you still believe there is an error, you can reach out to your instructor or the textbook publisher to report it. Providing specific details and evidence will help in resolving the contradiction.

## 5. Can contradictions in Halliday and Resnick impact my understanding of physics?

In most cases, contradictions in Halliday and Resnick should not significantly impact your understanding of physics. However, it is always important to double-check your understanding and consult with your instructor to clarify any confusion. Also, reporting any contradictions can help improve the accuracy of future editions of the textbook.

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