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The students should understand the nature and use of the following contact forces: surface frictional force Ff acting in a direction parallel to the plane of contact between a body and a surface, on a stationary body as given by Ff ≤ μsFN or a body in motion as given by Ff = μdFN where μs and μd are the coefficients of static and dynamic friction respectively


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Static and Kinetic Friction

Experiment #12 from Physics with Vernier

  • Use a Dual-Range Force Sensor to measure the force of static and kinetic friction.
  • Determine the relationship between force of static friction and the weight of an object.
  • Measure the coefficients of static and kinetic friction for a particular block and track.
  • Use a Motion Detector to independently measure the coefficient of kinetic friction and compare it to the previously measured value.
  • Determine if the coefficient of kinetic friction depends on weight.

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
A Space, time and motion
A.2 Forces and momentum
Standard level and higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.