Fundamental Physics/Force/Friction Force

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Friction is a surface force that opposes relative motion. The frictional force is directly related to the normal force that acts to keep two solid objects separated at the point of contact. There are two broad classifications of frictional forces: static friction and kinetic friction.

Static friction force[edit | edit source]

The static friction force () will exactly oppose forces applied to an object parallel to a surface contact up to the limit specified by the coefficient of static friction () multiplied by the normal force (). In other words, the magnitude of the static friction force satisfies the inequality:

Kinetic friction force[edit | edit source]

The kinetic friction force () is independent of both the forces applied and the movement of the object. Thus, the magnitude of the force equals:

where is the coefficient of kinetic friction. For most surface interfaces, the coefficient of kinetic friction is less than the coefficient of static friction.