Fashionable, but unable to tell fact from fiction (testing4l) wrote,
Fashionable, but unable to tell fact from fiction
testing4l

Physics humor for the day.

You have two cats. They're the same size, shape, breed, weight, litter, color, and so on.

You place the two cats on a wooden board, side by side. You then raise on end of the board. As you raise it, one of them slides off. Why?

Clearly, one of them had a greater µ ; )



µ is the Greek letter mu. It's the coefficient of static friction. It's also pronounced "mew" like the sound a cat makes.

Static friction is the term for the force a surface applies to an object by friction which keeps it still. That force is equal to µ * N, where N is the normal force (the equal and opposite force the surface applies to the weight of the object). Specifically, the force is in the range of 0-µ*N. If the force necessary to keep an object from moving exceeds µ*N, then it slides off.

Having a greater µ in this case is a pun on the sound a cat makes (mew) as well as a higher coefficient of static friction.

EDIT: added an HR to separate the explanation from the joke.
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