# Solving Friction Problem: Minimum Force Needed

• aquila457
In summary, we have two blocks, m and M, with a horizontal force F pushing against m which is in contact with M on a frictionless table. The coefficient of static friction exists between the two blocks. The question asks for the minimum force F needed to hold m against M without m falling down. Using the relevant equation f=ma, we can set up an equation in terms of F, the combined mass of both blocks, and acceleration. Then, considering block m alone, we must identify all forces acting on it and use Newton's laws in both the x and y directions. We know that in the y direction, there can be no acceleration. An answer attempt will be provided soon.
aquila457

## Homework Statement

a horizontal force F pushes against a block of mass m, which in turn pushes against a larger block of mass M. There is no friction between the larger block and the table, but there is friction between the two blocks (coefficient of static friction). What is the smallest force F that will hold m against M without letting m fall down?

f=ma

## The Attempt at a Solution

no idea

I gather that block m is elevated (not touching the table) as a force F is applied to that block which is in contact with block M on the table. Use your relevant equation to set up an equation in terms of F,the mass of both blocks (moving together), and a. Then look at block m alone and identify all forces acting on it. Use Newton' laws in both the x and y direction. In the y direction, there must be no acceleration. Show an attempt at a solution, please.

thanks for the hint; i skipped ahead to some other problems, answer attempt will come soon

## 1. What is friction and why is it important to solve friction problems?

Friction is the resistance force that occurs when two surfaces come into contact and move against each other. It is important to solve friction problems because it affects the efficiency and performance of machines and structures, and can also cause wear and tear.

## 2. How do you calculate the minimum force needed to overcome friction?

The minimum force needed to overcome friction can be calculated using the formula F = μN, where F is the force, μ is the coefficient of friction, and N is the normal force.

## 3. What factors affect the coefficient of friction?

The coefficient of friction is affected by factors such as the nature of the surfaces in contact, the roughness and texture of the surfaces, and the presence of any lubricants or contaminants.

## 4. Can friction be completely eliminated?

No, friction cannot be completely eliminated. However, it can be reduced by using lubricants, minimizing surface roughness, and using materials with lower coefficients of friction.

## 5. How can solving friction problems benefit industries?

Solving friction problems can benefit industries by improving the efficiency and performance of machines, reducing wear and tear, and ultimately saving time and costs in maintenance and repairs.

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