1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B What is the true cause of friction?

  1. Mar 31, 2016 #1
    I know that most friction is caused from rough uneven surfaces rubbing each other, but what is the cause of friction between 2 flat surfaces?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2016 #2
    I know that at least some of friction is due to the Van der Waals force between nearby atoms. That is the force that geckos use to climb walls.
  4. Mar 31, 2016 #3
    It's from the atoms repelling each other due to the forces present in their atomic structure. The reason we have friction is the same reason we can't just walk through walls. No matter how thin or perfectly flat a material is, there will be friction due to those repulsive forces acting on each surface.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted