Sunday, November 7

Blog 5: Coefficient of friction and a graph

Anyone in my lovely audience of four read xkcd? Well no worries if you don't. This was the comic for Friday, November 5:
As the CoF approaches zero, productivity goes negative as OTHER people get pulled into chair spinning contests.

Do you see what I see? Physics~

As we're all aware, the coefficient of friction is the ratio of friction to normal force.  (F/N)

Coefficient of friction comes in two flavors: coefficient of static friction and coefficient of kinetic friction. The former is for when the two surfaces are, well, static. That'd be, for example, when you're pushing your couch but it isn't moving yet. When it does start to slide, we're looking at coefficient of kinetic friction.

The smaller the CoF, the more easily the two materials slide past each other. A larger CoF means that more force is needed to get the desk chair spinning. If you have a very stiff desk chair, you'll have already noticed that there's a max amount of force the static friction can counteract. After you pass this max static friction, well, I think you can guess what happens next.