|Topics||Coefficient of Friction, Force of Friction, Kinetic Friction, Kinetic vs. Static Friction, Normal Force, Normal Force vs. Weight, Static Friction|
Coefficient of friction (μ) represents how much two materials resist sliding across each other. Smooth surfaces like ice have low coefficients of friction while rough surfaces like concrete have high μ.
The formula for force of friction (Ff) is the same whether kinetic or static friction applies: Ff = μFN. To distinguish between kinetic and static friction, μk and μs are often used in place of μ.
Friction resists movement. Kinetic (also called sliding or dynamic) friction resists movement in a direction opposite to the movement. Because it opposes movement, kinetic friction will eventually bring an object to a stop. An example is a rock that's sliding across ice.
For any given surface, the coefficient of static friction is higher than the coefficient of kinetic friction. More force is required to initally get an object moving than is required to keep it moving. Additionally, static friction only arises in response to an attempt to move an object (overcome the normal force between it and the surface).
Normal force (FN) represents the force a surface exerts when an object presses against it.
Normal force arises on a flat horizontal surface in response to an object's weight pressing it down. Consequently, normal force is generally equal to the object's weight.
Static friction is friction between two or more solid objects that are not moving relative to each other. An example is the friction that prevents a box on a sloped surface from sliding farther down the surface.