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XoEnder

Friction

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For some reason friction just popped into my head and thought I'd throw an opinion out here. It's probably one of the more important things in the world of physics for making realistic calculations, yet thinking back on my classes I'm a little annoyed at how long it took to start incorporating it into studies. For quite a while everything you do states something like assume friction is 0, or disregard friction etc. I personally think that starting with adding some sort of friction calculation into a few problems would go a long way in helping out physics students think about it's interaction in the world. I know that at first you need to learn the basics, but in my experience I felt like it was neglected for quite a while and then suddenly thrown into the mix and it caused a bit of difficulty depending on the complexity of the problem. Outside of sliding objects and using a simple equation with the friction coefficient that is. Which I found to be the extent of the friction section for a good deal of intro to physics courses. For example, simple projectile motion. I don't think adding a simple air resistance type of friction value would necessarily complicate it too much. Once students get more advanced they can start to expand upon that by incorporating the geometry and surface area into their friction calculations. Anyways, that's my opinionated rant.

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I disagree - if only because I've integrated simple (linear) air friction properly (analytically) before (I'll resist the temptation to link that thread again >_>), and it's not exactly pretty. Then there's the proper (quadratic) drag, which is even worse.

Then again, you might be suggesting finding numerical approximates - but to me that seems even worse. The error term on a Euler-based method will probably bring the output closer to the zero-drag analytical solution, anyway - but at least the latter will be accurate on the moon. Other methods like Verlet and RK are relatively advanced subjects in their own right.

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