The physics of ice skating. The slipperiness of ice is poorly understood at a microscopic level. Experiments that probe how the surface of ice melts and flows in response to wear help to explain the exceptionally low friction that underpins winter sports.

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Fun fact, molecules of water pack in such a way that its solid form will become a liquid when pressure on it increases.


Related is the fascinating question of what makes a curling stone actually curl the way it does, which was also theorised to be related to friction.


To me, the last sentence, stating friction is responsible for 20% of the world’s energy consumption, was maybe the coolest part of the article. 20% of [very big number] is still a very big number, and to think that such a large amount of energy gets dissipated every day, most of it just wasted, is incase.


We’ve been doing it for hundreds of years but we have no clue how it actually works.


I wonder what value they came up with. I was thinking the glass bead might gradually heat up the test area, but the article says that subsequent melting of layer did not affect friction value. The claim at the end is bold, but valid in my opinion. Friction is responsible for 20 percent of the world’s energy consumption.