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Engineering

Skimming the surface

Models of the microscopic contact area between two surfaces work surprisingly well, or fail completely, depending on the aspects of adhesion or friction being investigated. A simulation now shows how the details matter.

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Figure 1: Forms of mechanical contact.

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Israelachvili, J. Skimming the surface. Nature 435, 893–894 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/435893a

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