"Friction mechanisms at small and large scales: New insights from computer simulations"
PHYSICS DEPARTMENT COLLOQUIUM
Friction mechanisms at small and large scales: Martin Müser
New insights from computer simulations
Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany
Surfaces of solids tend to be rather complex. They have roughness on a multitude of length scales,
the chemical composition is undefined and may even change with time. Yet, the laws describing
the friction between two solids are surprisingly simple: To a good approximation, friction
between solids is linear in the force squeezing the solids together and independent of the apparent
contact area. Moreover, kinetic friction barely depends on the sliding velocity, at least at small
velocities. Many propositions have been made within the last 100 years for the microscopic
origin of solid friction and the laws describing it. In recent years, computer simulations
have been very successful in testing the competing theories. Some simulations lead to new theories.
I will review some of these developments. This includes examples where simulations have triggered
new developments for practical applications.
October 9, 2013 (Wednesday)