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Homework Help: Question about Friction force

  1. Nov 16, 2014 #1
    The harder I push a book to a wall, the larger is the friction force, since friction is (coefficient of friction (times) the force I use).

    Why won't the friction force make the object go up instead of stay where it is since the friction worse can get arbitrarily large while gravitational force is constant?

    (not a homework question but one I thought of)(English is my 2nd language)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2014 #2

    jack action

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    Friction is a reactive force, so you need another force to create the friction. In your case, the force is the weight of the book so the friction force will never be greater than the weight of the book.

    What the coefficient of friction times the normal force equation tells you is the MAXIMUM force that friction can handle. So by pushing harder you do not increase friction, but if you would add another force pushing the book down (say adding weight on it), the friction force could still resists the increased downward force.
  4. Nov 16, 2014 #3
    It is not clear in your original statement which direction you are pushing the book (parallel to the wall or perpendicular to the wall?).

    What Jack said was very good.
  5. Nov 17, 2014 #4
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