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Friction Between Molecular Stars

Jülich physicists calculate friction behaviour of macromolecules

Jülich, 14 October 2011 – Friction is found everywhere in our daily life, but it is often undesirable because it can cause heat and material wear. One of the goals of physics is therefore to understand in detail the physical causes of various friction phenomena and how lubricants reduce friction. With the aid of numerical methods and simulations, Jülich researchers have now discovered how drag velocity and the forces applied are related in individual molecules in aqueous solution. They regard this as the first step towards an improved understanding of friction processes, such as those found in human joints or protheses. Their results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

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