Friction

In this worksheet, students will learn what friction is and how it affects our lives.

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Motion and Forces

Curriculum subtopic:   Balanced Forces

Difficulty level:

QUESTION 1 of 10

Friction is a contact force; two objects have to be touching for friction to work. Friction can slow an object down or even make it stop. When we sit on a chair, there is friction between our clothes and the chair, so we do not slide off! There is also friction between our feet and the floor, so we can walk properly without slips and slides.

Certain materials produce more friction than others. Rubber, for example, is used in car tyres to stop them sliding off the road. Friction can sometimes be a nuisance though. If there is too much friction in the axles of a bicycle, it is very difficult to ride, so we can use a lubricant, such as oil or grease. This is called lubrication. Skiers wax the bottom of their skis to make them smooth. This reduces friction and allows them to move faster.

Friction always wears things away, e.g. brake pads, car tyres and clothes all wear out the more we use them. Friction also produces heat and sound. A car engine without oil overheats and rusty doors squeak. Air resistance and water resistance are also types of friction in gases and liquids, respectively. To reduce those, smooth surfaces and streamlined or aerodynamic shapes are needed.

Complete this sentence.

Friction is a _________________ force.

contact

non-contact

What stops us from sliding off a chair when we sit on it?

Pick the material that causes a lot of friction from this list.

rubber

plastic

cotton

metal

Give an example of a lubricant.

What do we call it when we oil a squeaky door?

What do skiers use to make the bottom of their skis smoother?

What would happen to a car engine without oil?

It would squeak.

It would run smoothly.

It would overheat.

Name friction in air.

What two qualities are used to describe something that does not have a high level of friction?

streamlined

air resistance

aerodynamic

smooth shapes

Is this statement true or false?

There can be friction in gases and liquids.

true

false

• Question 1

Complete this sentence.

Friction is a _________________ force.

contact
EDDIE SAYS
Friction is a contact force.
• Question 2

What stops us from sliding off a chair when we sit on it?

friction
EDDIE SAYS
Friction stops us sliding off chairs.
• Question 3

Pick the material that causes a lot of friction from this list.

rubber
EDDIE SAYS
Rubber causes a lot of friction which is why things like shoe soles and bike tyres are made to be "grippy".
• Question 4

Give an example of a lubricant.

oil
grease
EDDIE SAYS
Oil and grease are lubricants.
• Question 5

What do we call it when we oil a squeaky door?

lubrication
lubricate
EDDIE SAYS
Lubrication is when we oil an object to reduce friction.
• Question 6

What do skiers use to make the bottom of their skis smoother?

wax
EDDIE SAYS
Skiers wax the bottom of their skis to make them smoother and so reduce the friction between the skis and the snow.
• Question 7

What would happen to a car engine without oil?

It would overheat.
EDDIE SAYS
A car engine without oil would overheat. All the many moving parts would rub against each other (friction) without any lubricant and so cause a lot of heat to be generated between the moving surfaces.
• Question 8

Name friction in air.

air resistance
drag
EDDIE SAYS
Air resistance, or drag, is friction in air.
• Question 9

What two qualities are used to describe something that does not have a high level of friction?

streamlined
aerodynamic
EDDIE SAYS
Streamlined and aerodynamic shapes reduce friction.
• Question 10

Is this statement true or false?

There can be friction in gases and liquids.

true
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, friction can exist in liquids and gases.
---- OR ----

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