Tomlinson Movie
Macroscopic Friction
The law of Leonardo (da Vinci)
The law of Euler and Amontons
The law of Coulomb
Historical abstract
Adhesion models
Friction Force Microscopy
Principle of measuring
Measuring Topology
Measuring Friction
Both Channels
Self assessment
Tomlinson's mechanism
Phenomenology I
Phenomenology II
Mechanical adiabaticity
Distinguish positions
Playing Tomlinson
Friction - a pinning problem
2D Friction
Critical Curves
Historical Background
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Simulator Applet
The first Picture
The Panels
Post processing

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)


Original scetches from Leonardos experiments on friction.

Leonardo da Vinci has the credit to be the first who made quantitative studies on the problem of friction. Leonardo's experimental setup for friction measurements was rather simple. He measured the angle a of an inclined plane, where a body, put on the plane, started sliding and the weight needed to make a block on a table moving. With his methods he was only able to measure static friction and most probably he wasn't aware of the difference between static and kinetic friction. Leonardo found the following two laws of friction, in which we essentially recover friction laws 1 and 2.}

  • The friction made by the same weight will be of equal resistance at the beginning of its movement although the contact may be of different breadths and lengths.
  • Friction produces double the amount of effort if the weight be doubled.

Leonardo defined a friction coefficient as the ratio of the friction divided by the mass of the slider. Experimentally, he found a universal friction coefficient of 0.25 independent of the material. This universal friction coefficient of 0.25 is called Bilfinger value. Many other friction scientists after Leonardo believed in the existence of a universal material independent friction coefficient. However, most of them found another value but all in the range 0.1 - 0.6.


Leonardo virtuell
  This is the start of the trail               Guillaume Amontons (1663-1705)

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