# Friction 1

In this worksheet, students will be introduced to the force of friction.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Forces

Curriculum subtopic:   Resistance and Friction

Difficulty level:

### QUESTION 1 of 10

Why is it difficult to drag a heavy object along the ground, but so much easier if it is on wheels? Why is it easy to slide things along some surfaces but not others? The answer is a force called friction.

When two things rub together it causes friction. Friction slows things down and stops them moving. The amount of friction there will be is determined by how much contact there is between the surfaces of the moving objects and by how rough or smooth the surfaces are.

A wheel or a ball roll freely over a surface because only a small part of it is in contact at any one time. An icy surface is slippery because it is so smooth.

Try out this worksheet to test what you know about friction.

You are sitting on the side of a grassy hill enjoying the view.

What stops you from sliding to the bottom?

holding on

air pressure

gravity

friction

Why would it be a harder for the dogs to pull the sled on a stony surface?

their paws would get caught between the stones

the stones would be too warm for the sled

the rough stones cause more friction with the sled runners

True or false: friction only happens when moving objects come into contact with each other.

true

false

Why does putting grit on icy roads in winter help to stop cars from skidding?

the grit makes the road surface sticky

the grit makes the cars go more slowly

the grit makes the road surface less smooth and increases friction

Why do skiers put wax on their skis?

it makes them easier to see

it helps the skis grip the snow

it lets them go faster

Which of these is an example of friction being useful?

the brakes on a bicycle

a rusty door hinge

True or false, friction can only take place between two solid objects.

true

false

• Question 1

You are sitting on the side of a grassy hill enjoying the view.

What stops you from sliding to the bottom?

friction
EDDIE SAYS
The force of gravity pulls you down the slope but it isn't strong enough to overcome the friction force that stops you moving.
• Question 2

Why would it be a harder for the dogs to pull the sled on a stony surface?

the rough stones cause more friction with the sled runners
EDDIE SAYS
The rougher a surface the greater the force of friction that has to be overcome. That means the dogs will have to use more force to move the sled.
• Question 3

True or false: friction only happens when moving objects come into contact with each other.

true
EDDIE SAYS
There isn't any friction unless objects actually come in contact with each other. It's what is known as a CONTACT FORCE.
• Question 4

Why does putting grit on icy roads in winter help to stop cars from skidding?

the grit makes the road surface less smooth and increases friction
EDDIE SAYS
Grit makes the smooth ice melt, exposing the rough road surface and so increasing friction with the car tyres. In addition, the little stones in the grit also help the tyres to 'grip' the road and so increase the friction so they can get moving.
• Question 5

Why do skiers put wax on their skis?

it lets them go faster
EDDIE SAYS
Waxing skis makes them smoother, reducing the friction between the ski and the snow surface. This allows the skier to move faster.
• Question 6

Which of these is an example of friction being useful?

the brakes on a bicycle
EDDIE SAYS
The bicycle brakes have to grip the wheel and stop it moving. This would be much harder to do if they were smooth and there was little friction between the brakes and the wheel. Ice skates work because there is very little friction between the narrow blades and the smooth surface of the ice.
• Question 7

True or false, friction can only take place between two solid objects.

false
EDDIE SAYS
It is false. Friction forces also occur when contact is made with liquids and gases too. There are also worksheets on air resistance (friction with a gas) and water resistance (friction with a liquid) for you to look at.
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