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Friction Definition

Friction is the force resisting motion. It slows things down.

View Lesson on Patterns of Motion & Friction
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Patterns of Motion & Friction

Fun Facts

  • Friction makes a book sliding across the floor come to a stop.
  • Air hockey tables have very little friction due to air preventing puck contact.
  • Bowling lanes are coated with oil to reduce friction for smoother ball slides.

Why Do We Need To Know About Friction

Learning about friction helps us see why it’s important in our everyday lives and in different jobs. For example, car designers use knowledge about friction to make tires that grip the road well, which makes cars safer to drive. This knowledge helps avoid crashes and makes cars work better.

In designing planes, making them more streamlined to lower friction helps them use less fuel and fly faster. Also, knowing about friction in daily life, like using oil to stop squeaks or understanding why pencils become dull, gives us useful tips for solving common problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explain how the motion of a jump rope creates a predictable pattern.
When Izzy jumps rope, he knows when to jump because the rope moves up, over, down and around him in a repeating pattern.
If a ball is thrown straight up into the air, what do you predict its pattern of motion to be? Why?
We can predict that a ball thrown straight up will fall straight down again because we have likely done it before and noticed a pattern that happens every time.
Explain the relationship between string length and motion for pendulums.
The longer the string length, the slower a pendulum swings. The shorter the string length, the faster a pendulum swings.
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