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Friction


Friction is a force produced between two surfaces when one object rubs against the other. Friction always works against the motion. The lesson below, friction for kids, teaches about the science behind the force of friction.

 

Friction for Kids

 

(Click ‘Forces and Motion’ to learn about different types of forces around us.)

 

What is friction?

Friction is the force produced between two surfaces when they are rubbing or sliding against each other.

Examples of friction - pushing

How friction applies when pushing something

 

Let’s learn more about this now, with Friction for Kids.

 

The force of friction always works in the opposite direction to the movement.

 

So, friction occurs when two surfaces stick to each other a little.

 
Friction
 

Friction always slows a moving object down, because it tries to stop the surfaces from sliding over one another.

 

For example;

  • The surface of the wheels sticks to the road, when car wheels roll along the ground.  The force of friction acts between the surface of the wheels and the surface of the road and slows the car down.

 

Examples of useful friction - driving

How friction applies when driving


 

  • You might have noticed that it is difficult to push a box along a cement floor. This is because; friction acts between the surface of the box and the surface of the floor and makes it difficult to push the box along the floor.

 

Examples of friction - pushing a box

How friction applies when pushing something


 

Let’s now see how more and less friction apply in our daily life, with Friction for Kids.

 

More Friction and Less Friction

 

Where do you think, you can walk easily? On a rough surface or a smooth surface?

 

If you are unsure about your answer, let’s ask the question in a different way.

 

Where do you think you can walk easily? On the road or on ice?

 

The answer will obviously be on the road. Now if you think about these two surfaces; the surface of the road is rough whereas the surface of ice is smooth.