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```Friction
FRICTION
The force acting along the two surfaces in contact which opposes the motion of one body over the other
is known as the force of friction or frictional force.
The force of friction always opposes the relative motion between the two bodies in contact irrespective of
the direction of motion.
For example, when a body is pulled by force F towards the right, the force of friction acts along the left
and when the applied force acts towards the left, the force of friction acts towards the right as shown in
figure. Here R and W represent the normal reaction and the weight of the body respectively.
Normal reaction R
Normal reaction R
F
F
f
W (Weight)
f
W (Weight)
A frictional force always acts to oppose the motion of a body over a surface and is an example of a
contact force.
When solid bodies move through liquids and gases, they also experience this opposing force of friction.
For example, a kite flying in the air, an aeroplane moving through air and a submarine moving through
water. The force of friction experienced by a body moving over some liquid surface is very small
compared to that experienced while moving over a solid surface. That is why a moving ship takes much
longer time to come to rest than a car when their engines are switched off.
Cause of Friction
Friction arises on account of strong atomic or molecular forces of attraction
between the two surfaces at the points of actual contact. On account of
roughness of surfaces, the area of actual contact is much smaller than the
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area of apparent contact. These areas are roughly in the ratio 1 : 10 . At
the contact points, the molecules of the two surfaces are so close together
that they exert very strong intermolecular force of attraction on one
another. As actual area of contact is very small, therefore, the pressure
(= force / area) at the points of contact becomes too large. So that many of
the contact points may deform plastically and becomes ‘cold welded’.
When one body tries to move over the other, it involves rupturing of
thousands of such tiny cold welds. This gives rise to opposing force of
friction.
Area of apparent contact
Area of actual contact
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Characteristic of Friction Force
1. Friction force is independent of the area of contact.
2. The maximum value of friction force depends on the normal contact force between the surfaces.
TYPES OF FRICTION FORCE
Friction force can be divided in three groups
1. Static Friction
2. Kinetic Friction
3. Rolling Friction
(i) Static friction:
The friction that exists between the two surfaces in contact when there is no relative motion between
them is called static friction.
m
F
Static friction acts on a body to oppose the tendency of relative motion.
For example if 5 N force is required to move a block, and horizontal force F is applied on the block
and value of F is gradually increased from F= 0 N to 5 N the block will not move till F = 5 N. Upto 5 N
the friction force is balancing the applied force. So the maximum value of friction force is 5 N, which
is called the limiting value of friction. Before reaching the limiting value, static friction is variable
because, say F = 2 N block will not slide, so the static friction is 2N and when F = 3N then static
friction in 3 N. So we can say that static friction is self adjustable force, which is equal and opposite
to the applied force upto the limiting value.
(ii) Kinetic or sliding friction:
Force of kinetic friction is the force that comes into picture, opposing the relative motion when one
body is actually moving over the surface of another body. It is found that the force of kinetic friction is
independent of the area of contact, and its magnitude is constant for the given surfaces. It does not
depend on the velocity of the body.
(ii) Rolling friction:
When a body rolls on the surface of another the friction that exists between the surface is known as
rolling friction.
When a box is about to start moving, the friction is the static friction. it has started moving, the friction that
exists is the sliding friction. When the drum is rolling on the surface, the friction is the rolling friction.
Experimentally, it has been proved that,
Static friction > kinetic or Dynamic friction > Rolling friction
EFFECTS OF FRICTION
When one object moves over another object, the friction between them shows the following effects:
(i) Friction opposes Motion:
When a ball is thrown on the ground, it stops after sometime. So friction opposes motion.
(ii) Friction produces Heat:
When the palms of the hands are rubbed together for a few seconds, they become warm. Friction
produces heat.
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(iii) Friction causes wear and Tear:
If the soles of the old shoes and the new shoes are compared, we will find that the old soles are worn out.
Soles wear out because of friction between the ground and the shoes.
Whenever there is a relative motion of two surfaces in contact, there is frictional resistance. When a body
moves over another, it has to overcome friction. This needs energy. Hence, some energy is always
wasted in overcoming friction. When two parts of a machine rub against each other, heat is produced,
and the efficiency of the machine decreases. There will be greater wear and tear in different parts of a
machine due to friction. Thus friction reduces the efficiency of machines.
From what has been discussed above, it may appear that if there were no friction, our life would have
been much easier and we would not have to spend energy in overcoming the frictional resistance.
This is not true. As a matter of fact it is only because of friction that we are able to move around. Try to
run on a very smooth surface and see what happens. As we step forward, friction opposes the forward
force, so that the foot does not slip forward force. When we raise our heel again to take another forward
pace, the friction prevents the front part of the shoe from moving back.
WAYS TO REDUCE FRICTION
(i) Streamlined Bodies: Air and water offer the maximum friction. Objects moving in air or water have
streamlined bodies to reduce friction. Birds, cars, aeroplanes and rockets have special streamlined
bodies to reduce air resistance Ships, fishes, boats and submarines are broad in the middle and narrow
in front and at the back.
   
(ii) Polishing:
Polishing rough surfaces also reduces friction. If the surfaces are in contact are rough, there is more
friction. Hence to reduce friction, the surfaces in contact are kept smooth and polished. It is worth
nothing that if the two surfaces in contact are of the same metal, the friction increases on polishing the
two surfaces. This is why the bearing the axle is made of different metals.
(iii) Wheels:
If a suitcase is fitted with wheels, it is easier to move it because the friction between the wheels and the
ground is less.
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(iv) Ball Bearings or Roller Bearing:
They are made in various designs to reduce friction.
They reduce friction because rolling friction is smaller
than sliding friction. These bearings are also lubricated
to further improve their function.
4
Balls act as rollers
between axle and
inside surface of wheel
Wheel
revolves
Axle
Fixed
(v) Lubricants:
Use of lubricants makes the surface smooth. In machines, friction is reduced by using lubricants such as
oil, grease or graphite power. The lubricant fills the minute unevenness of the two surfaces and
separates them by forming a very thin layer in between. This layer offers very little resistance and as a
result, the friction gets reduced.
(vi) Anti-friction Metals:
When steel slides over an alloy of lead, the friction is less than when steel slides on steel. Bearings are
sometimes packed with such an alloy.
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SOLVED PROBLEMS
SUBJECTIVE
1.
Why it is difficult to move a bike with its brakes on?
Sol.
When the brakes of a bike are on, its wheels cannot rotate. They will simply skid. Thus rolling
friction will be converted into skidding friction which is comparatively larger. Hence it becomes
difficult to move the bike.
2.
Why a horse has to pull a cart harder during the first few steps of his motion?
Sol.
During the first few steps of his motion, the horse has to pull a cart harder, because the horse has
to work against the limiting friction, whereas once the motion starts, the horse has to work against
the dynamic friction which is less than the limiting friction.
3.
How does a lubricant help in reducing friction?
Sol.
When a lubricant is added to a machine it spreads between the two surfaces rubbing
fills the irregularities present on the surfaces and forms a thin layer between the
contact. As a result of it, the contact between the two hard surfaces is replaced by
between the hard surface and lubricant layer. Due to it, the force of friction
considerably.
4.
Sand is thrown on the tracks covered with snow. Why?
Sol.
Sand increases the friction.
5.
Why are wheels circular?
Sol.
They convert sliding friction into rolling friction.
each other,
surfaces in
the contact
is reduced
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OBJECTIVE
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (SINGLE OPTION CORRECT)
1.
Friction force acts
(A) parallel to motion
(B) perpendicular to motion
(C) opposite to the direction of relative motion
0
(D) at an angle of 30 with the direction of motion
Sol.
C
2.
Friction between any two objects is due to
(A) Attraction between them
(C) Some adhesive forces between them
Sol.
D
3.
It is difficult to walk on ice because of
(A) absence of friction
(C) more inertia
Sol.
A
4.
Frictional force can’t be measured in
(A) kg wt.
(C) dyne
Sol.
D
5.
Graphite powder is used in machines to
(A) enhance friction
(C) reduce friction
Sol.
C
6.
Friction is a/an
(C) Important force in daily life
D
Sol.
(B) Repulsion between them
(D) irregularities on the surfaces.
(B) absence of inertia
(D) more friction
(B) Newton
(D) kg m/s
(B) enhance profit
(D) reduce efficiency
(B) necessary evil
(D) all the above
7.
When a ball moves on a rough surface, its speed
(A) Increases
(B) decreases
(C) Remains the same
(D) none of these
Sol.
B
8.
Some statements about friction are given
(I) frictional force can accelerate a body.
(II) Frictional force is proportional to the area of contact between the two surfaces.
(III) Kinetic friction is always greater than static friction.
(A) only I is true.
(B) only (III) is true
(C) I & II are true.
(D) II & (III) are true.
A
Sol.
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9.
An external horizontal force P acts on a block placed on a rough horizontal surface. The
force of friction between them is f. Which of the following graphs represents the relation
between P and f correctly?
(A)
(B)
f
f
P
(C)
P
(D)
f
f
P
Sol.
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P
B.
True / False
10.
Limiting friction is independent of the area of contact.
Sol.
True
11.
Limiting friction depends on the nature of surfaces in contact.
Sol.
True
12.
Friction force always apposes the motion.
Sol.
False
13.
The magnitude of friction force acting on a body may be zero.
Sol.
True
14.
When a person walks on a rough road, the frictional force exerted by the surface on the
person is opposite to the direction of motion.
Sol.
False
Fill in the blanks:
15.
The maximum value of forces which makes the surfaces just to slide is called the ____.
Sol.
Limiting friction
16.
Frictional forces also arise when solid bodies move through ________________.
Sol.
Liquids and gases
17.
Ball bearing is commonly used to _____________friction.
Sol.
Reduce
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ASSIGNMENT
SUBJECTIVE
1.
Define force of friction.
2.
What do you mean by limiting friction?
3.
Why is it easier to maintain the motion than to start it ?
4.
Is force of friction a contact force?
5.
If a ball is moving on a frictionless horizontal surface and no forces are applied on it, will its speed
decrease, increase or remain constant?
6.
What is rolling friction?
7.
What are the various ways of reducing friction?
8.
Give any two examples where friction supports motion.
9.
How does frictional force vary with change in roughness of the surfaces?
10.
8
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OBJECTIVE
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (SINGLE OPTION CORRECT)
1.
2.
3.
SI unit of force of friction is
(A) N
2
(C) kg m/s
(B) kg wt
(D) none of these
The use of lubricants makes the surface
(A) smooth
(C) very rough
(B) rough
(D) none of these
Ball bearings are used to
(A) increase friction
(C) optimize friction
(B) decrease friction
(D) none of these
4.
The maximum force of friction when the body is just beginning to move is known as the
(A) limiting friction
(B) rolling friction
(C) static friction
(D) sliding friction
5.
The friction that exists between a surface sliding on another surface is called the
(A) dynamic friction
(B) rolling friction
(C) static friction
(D) limiting friction
6.
The force of friction between two bodies is
(A) Parallel to the contact surface
(C) Inclined at 30° to the contact surface
(B) Perpendicular to the contact surface
(D) Inclined at 60° to the contact surface
7.
It is easier to maintain the motion than to starts it because
(A) kinetic friction > limiting friction
(B) kinetic friction < limiting friction
(C) kinetic friction = limiting friction
(D) none of these
8.
In an experiment, four students plotted graphs between force of limiting friction F and normal
reaction R, Which one is correct
(A)
F
(B)
F
R
R
F
F
(C)
(D)
R
R
9.
In the shown arrangement,
1 kg
2 kg
F=(12 )N
If coefficient of friction between blocks and surface is 0.1 the tension in the string would be
(A) 4N
(B) 3N
(C) 2N
(D) 1 N
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10.
If the normal force is doubled, the coefficient of friction is
(A) not changed
(B) halved
(C) doubled
(D) tripled
11.
A balloon of gross weight W Newton is falling vertically downward with a constant acceleration
a(<g). The magnitude of the air resistance is

a
(A) W
(B) W  1  
g

a

a
(C) W  1  
(D) W  
g

g
Fill in the blanks:
12.
A frictional force is an example of a _________________ force.
13.
A frictional force acts to _____________________the relative motion between two surfaces.
14.
Limiting friction is _______________of the area of contact.
15.
The frictional force _________________with the ____________in roughness of the surfaces.
16.
Match the items in Column A with the items in Column B:
Column A
Column B
1.
Frictional force is
(a)
2.
Force of static friction is
(b)
less than kinetic friction
3.
Rolling friction is
(c)
area of contact
4.
Limiting friction is independent of
(d)
an example of contact force
OBJECTIVE
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS (SINGLE OPTION CORRECT)
1. A
2. A
3. B
4. A
5. A
6. A
7. B
8. D
9. B
10. A
11. C
FILL IN THE BLANKS
12. contact
13. oppose
14. independent
15. increases, increase
MATCH THE FOLLOWING
16. 1 – (d)
10
2 – (a)
3. – (b)
4. – (c)
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