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Q & A: friction etymology

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Where does the word friction come from and Why is friction so important????

Jess

Who discovered friction and why is it called that????

Paree
- Jess and Paree (age 12)
Boston
A:
The English word friction is derived from a Latin root "fricare" which means "to rub".
I presume the cave men discovered friction when they rubbed two sticks together in order to make a fire.   In essence friction is a force that opposes relative motion between two objects.
It is important because theses forces mean a loss of efficiency in mechanical motion.

Lee H

Of course, friction can also be essential in other mechanical applications, such as the friction between car tires and roads.
Mike W.


(published on 10/22/2007)

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