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Can you describe  the effect on friction force on the surface of Mars?  How about the...

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lkehoe | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted December 2, 2012 at 4:56 AM via web

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Can you describe  the effect on friction force on the surface of Mars?  How about the surface of Jupiter? (in regards to a refrigerator or a cabinet)

What would happen to friction force in each of these situations and why?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2012 at 5:50 AM (Answer #1)

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If a refrigerator or a cabinet is placed on a surface its movement is resisted by the force of friction which is given by F = mu*N where mu is the coefficient of friction and N is the normal force. The normal force is the perpendicular force exerted by the object on the surface. This is equal to N = m*g where m is the mass of the object and g is the gravitational acceleration.

On Earth, g = 9.8 m/s^2. As the mass of Jupiter is many times larger than that of the Earth, the value of g on the surface of Jupiter is 25.93 m/s^2 and Mars with a mass much smaller than that of the Earth has a value of g equal to 3.728 m/s^2.

The value of the normal force is dependent on g and as a result the frictional force is also dependent on g. On the surface of Jupiter the frictional force would be much larger than that on the surface of Earth and the frictional force on the surface of Mars would be smaller.


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