Separating Books Experiment

Start off with two books the same size, interleave them together. About one inch (2.54cm) overlapping. Then you and a partner pull as hard as you can to separate the books. You can’t do it, because Friction is a DRAG!

 

All that is holding the two books together is friction. This is the same force that acts to stop you sliding a book across a table.

 

When you interleave the two books there is a small force pulling the two books together created by the spine of the book.a table.

 

This compressive force will create a frictional force between every place the pages are interleaved, if there are 50 interleavings a small frictional force will be multiplied by 50 to create a huge force that you can’t overcome with pure muscle.

 

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