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ERIC Number: EJ876087
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Showing Area Matters: A Work of Friction
Van Domelen, David
Physics Teacher, v48 n1 p28-29 Jan 2010
Typically, we teach the simplified friction equation of the form F[subscript s] = [mu][subscript s]N for static friction, where F[subscript s] is the maximum static friction, [mu][subscript s] is the coefficient of static friction, and "N" is the normal force pressing the surfaces together. However, this is a bit too simplified, and doesn't work well in cases where the surface area is large and the normal force small. Rather, a better model in such cases would be F[subscript s] = [mu][subscript s]N + c[subscript s]A, where c[subscript s] is a new coefficient for the static friction due to contact area. Of course, it would help for students to be able to quantitatively measure this, and that's where this paper comes in.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri