Can the Frictional Force Between Two Interleaved Phone Books Lift A Car?

Students often underestimate the force of friction, despite the fact that friction is the force that acts every day to bring their school buses and cars to a stop. In this video, two phone books are interwoven page- by-page and the friction between the thin sheets of paper is put to the ultimate test – can the frictional force between two interleaved phone books lift a 3, 500 lb car? Watch the video below to see what happens.

Think of the total area between 2 phone books. That is a lot of friction! Is it possible to pull them apart?

Watch Mythbusters try the experiment again using two military tanks.

Collin Wassilak

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