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Grade 11 Physics                    TECHNOLOGY OF FRICTION ASSIGNMENT

How does it work?


GROUPS:                   Students may work in groups of two (a student may also work individually)


DUE DATE:               Assignment is due on Thursday, October 10th.

COMPUTER LAB DAYS: Monday, Oct 7 and Thursday, Oct. 10 (on the library computers)

YOUR TASK:            Your task is to find out information on a device, activity or a technology topic (A) which utilizes friction to operate OR (B) prevents energy loss due to friction. You may also choose a topic which focuses on a specific type of friction itself.

NOTE: This list is just intended a suggestion. Every point listed below will not apply to every topic..

1.         History of friction discovery, device or activity or technology

2.         How it works? How much does the anti-friction technology improve performance?

3.         Frictional forces involved in moving or slowing down device / activity

4.         Technological innovations used to increase friction or decrease it (with explanation)

5.         Highest or lowest or typical values of friction reached

6.         Safety concerns

7.         Pictures or schematic diagrams or free body diagrams of the device or activity

8.         Costs / benefits of these technologies

9.         Any other interesting facts


Information is to be presented on more than two letter-sized pages, as a “newsletter” or a pamphlet. The sheets may be either stapled or printed as one two-sided sheet. You may prefer to present it as a small poster on an 11 x 17" sheet.

  Alternatively, you could produce a simple PowerPoint presentation on this, minimum six pages.


Basically, you may choose anything that involves friction in any way. I suggest you pick something you have a personal interest in. There is no need to sign up for a topic.

          car tires and various treads

          anti-friction measures in the wheels of cars such as grease-packed bearings.

          car brakes: different types and technologies

          brakes for other devices

          treads on sports shoes such as soccer cleats or running shoes

          ski / snowboard waxes

          for an activity, is a special low friction uniform needed (ie: Spandex cycle suit)?

          Friction in sports:       

          motor oils such as 5W30. What do the grade designations mean?

          Silicone spray lubricant. Why is it preferred for high performance bicycles?

          Streamlining in high speed vehicles such as race cars, bullet trains, aircraft......

          Streamlining in nature: fish, birds....

          Friction in sports:       ice skating / hockey

          Friction in sports:       snowboarding

          Friction in sports:       ski racing

          Friction in sports:       sailboat racing

          Friction in sports:       speed skating

          Friction in sports:       bicycle racing

          Air flight: on the necessity of streamlined, low-friction surfaces on airplanes

          Friction issues relating to the Space Shuttle, especially on re-entry into the atmosphere



title:     informative, neat, attractive                                                         





addresses technologies / innovations which increase / decrease friction, other facts





includes at least 1 labelled diagram





addresses costs





indicates a typical or force of friction or coefficient





poster / newsletter well organized





neatly presented, considerable effort * put into it





references listed; variety of resources used (min. 3)






20 marks





* "Considerable effort" would be seen in a conventional-sized poster containing sufficient detail, attractive pictures and well-researched information. For a PowerPoint presentation, I would expect the equivalent amount of information (to that which would appear on a poster) contained with attractive graphics and other design elements. (minimum 6 pages).