Static and Kinetic Friction Forces: Similarities and Differences

Static and Kinetic Friction Forces: Similarities and Differences




Osama Asad Abu Al Shwareb
Physics teacher
Dhahran Ahliyya Schools
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

*This video was sponsored by Saudi Aramco and produced by Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz Science & Technology Center

Lesson Feedback


This lesson is about the importance of friction in our lives. It discusses the meaning of friction as well as the different types of friction. The lesson attempts to downplay the misconception that many people have regarding friction’s hindrance to movement and work. We focus on developing the student’s skill with calculating the coefficient of friction by using lessons with numerous activities ranging in difficulty and procedure. For example, the first activity is to make a distinction between the movements of objects on different surfaces, whereas the second activity focuses on the types of friction and what affects each of them. In the middle of the lesson, you will find activities to link the student’s theoretical and practical studies. This is done through an interview with a mechanical engineer who demonstrates the importance of the use of oil in cars to reduce friction and engine temperature. The last activity centers on how to calculate the coefficient of static and dynamic friction and their different behaviors depending on the surface.

Instructor Biography

Mr. Abu Al Shwareb has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a diploma in teaching Science and Computers from Yarmouk University in Irbid City, Jordan. In addition, he has completed an International Computer Driving License (ICDL), Intel certification and the Internet and Computer Core Certification (IC3).

Additional Online Resources Lesson 8: Friction
This video lecture, sponsored by MIT OpenCourseWare, presents Walter Lewin giving a lesson at MIT on friction.

Phet Interactive Simulations: Forces and Motion
This simulation, presented by the University of Colorado’s PhET, explores the forces at work when you try to push a filing cabinet. Charts show the forces, position, velocity, and acceleration vs. time.

YouTube: Static Friction Lesson
This animation, provided by the University of Rhode Island’s physics department, explains the forces on a car and the stopping distance when brakes are applied so that no skidding occurs. The video also explains how to calculate the speeds at which a car can safely drive around a banked turn, taking the force of static friction into account.

IOP Institute of Physics: Balancing a beam
This site, Practical Physics sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation, provides a collection of experiments involving friction.