Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Frictional Forces
Name: Kenisha
Status: other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
Can you reduce friction by decreasing the weight of the object on top? For example, if you wanted to reduce the friction between the tires of a car and the ground underneath it. Let's say on the first test the cars total weight was 3500 lb, if we took out unnecessary items would it reduce the friction between the tires and the ground on the second test? Considering that weight is the gravitational force exerted on an object and by decreasing the force or the push thus reducing friction between the two objects.



Replies:
Friction force = coefficient of friction times the support force.

You can test this with a spring scale pulling on a wood plank. You can change the support force by adding weights on top of the plank. You will see a difference in the frictional force on the scale as you pull at a constant velocity.

---Nathan A.Unterman



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory