Friction is the force that resists motion when the surface of one object comes in contact with the surface of another. It is also defined as the resistance offered by the surfaces that are in contact with each other when they move over each other.
We see friction in our day to day activities. Following are the ten examples of friction in daily life:
- Walking –We can walk only if we apply frictional force. Friction is what holds your shoe to the ground. The friction present on the ice is very little, this is the reason why it is hard to walk on the slippery surface of the ice.
- Writing – A frictional force is created when the tip of the pen comes in contact with the surface of the paper. Rolling friction is what comes into play while writing with a ballpoint pen while sliding friction arises when one writes with a pencil.
- Skating – A thin film of water under the blade is necessary to make the skate slide. The heat generated by the skate blade rubbing against the surface of ice causes some of the ice to melt right below the blade where the skater glides over the ice. This water acts as a lubricant reducing friction.
- Lighting a matchstick – When the head of the matchstick is rubbed against a rough surface, heat is generated and this heat converts red phosphorous to white phosphorous. White phosphorous is highly inflammable and the match stick ignites. Sometimes, matchsticks fail to ignite due to the presence of water. Water lowers friction.
- Driving of the vehicle on a surface- While driving a vehicle, the engine generates a force on the driving wheels. This force initiates the vehicle to move forwards. Friction is the force that opposes the tyre rubber from sliding on the road surface. This friction avoids skidding of vehicles.
- Applications of breaks in the vehicle to stop it- Friction braking is the most widely used braking method in vehicles. This process involves the conversion of kinetic energy to thermal energy by applying friction to the moving parts of a vehicle. The friction force resists the motion and in turn, generates heat. This conversion of energy eventually bringing the velocity to zero.
- Flight of aeroplanes- Drag is the force that opposes the forward motion of the aeroplane. The friction which resists the motion of an object moving through a fluid or immobile in a moving fluid, as occurs when we fly a kite. The friction of the air is created as it meets and passes over an aeroplane and its components. Drag is generated by air impact force, skin friction and displacement of the air.
- Drilling a nail into the wall- Friction is responsible for fixing of nails in a wall. As the nail is driven into the wall, the nearby material to the nail of the wall gets compressed. This exerts a force on the nail. This force is the friction that converts the normal force exerted by the compressed layers of the wall into the resisting shear force. In this manner the friction cause nails and screws to hold on to walls.
- The dusting of the carpet by beating it with a stick- When the carpet is beaten with the stick, the dust comes out. The dust is carried off by the wind or falls on the floor. The carpet exhibits a little static friction that holds the dust to the carpet. When the carpet is beaten, it will overcome the friction and the carpet will move away from the dust making the carpet free from dust.
- Sliding on a garden slide- We know that friction is a force that is present whenever two objects rub against each other. In case of a slide in the garden such as a slide and a person’s backside rub each other’s surface. Without friction, a slide would accelerate the rider too quickly, resulting in possible injury due to the fall. The friction reduces the velocity of the sliding person and makes him stop.
Friction is seen everywhere other than these areas in day to day life. Rubbing hands, table drawer are other examples of friction.