Measuring Surface Friction in Physics 1

Students in Danielle Horton’s Physics 1 classes recently conducted an interesting experiment to measure friction on inclined surfaces.

For the experiment, students took friction blocks with different masses, placed them on a track and raised the track until the blocks began to slide. After measuring the angle of the track, they were able to calculate the coefficient of friction. If all went as planned, they should have discovered that no matter how much mass a block had, it still overcame its static friction at the same angle.

“This experiment enabled them to definitively conclude that the only thing that affects the coefficient of friction is the type of surfaces in contact,” Horton explained.
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