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Origin of friction

  1. Oct 26, 2014 #1
    What is the origin of friction on the atomic (sub-atomic) scale?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  4. Oct 26, 2014 #3
    I am just asking what causes friction?
  5. Oct 26, 2014 #4
    Do you mean:

    "Why is the frictional force opposite in direction to the direction of travel?"
  6. Oct 26, 2014 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Here's the Tomlinson's model on the orgin of friction:


    Please note that this is a very specific example. Your question is actually rather vague, because not only are there different proposed mechanisms for static and kinetic friction, but there are also different models for solid-liquid friction, liquid-liquid friction, etc. It is why Nugatory suggested that you do a bit of homework on your own first and figure out exactly how to ask your question in a more informed manner.

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