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<   No. 2348   2009-07-01   >

1 Adam: Hey Jamie: Knock knock.
2 Jamie: Who's there?
3 Adam: Interrupting coefficient of friction.
4 Jamie: Interrupting coefficient of friction wh-

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Friction is a reactive force that opposes motion, caused by the physical contact between matter moving or being impelled to move at different speeds.

The simplest theoretical treatment of frictional force defines a coefficient of friction, which is a factor that multiplies the force perpendicular to the surface of contact, to give the force resisting the motion. In the case where an object is sitting on the ground, the perpendicular (or "normal" in usual physics jargon) force is basically the weight of the object. If the coefficient of friction is 0.5, then a force equal to half the weight of the object needs to be applied to the side of the object in order to slide it along the ground.

The symbol for coefficient of friction is the Greek letter μ, or mu.

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