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Stick-slip friction#

Understanding how slip at a frictional interface initiates is important for e.g. earthquake prediction and precision engineering. The force needed to start sliding a solid object over a flat surface is classically described by a “static friction coefficient”: a constant established by measurements. It was recently questioned if such constant exists, as it was shown to be poorly reproducible. Over the recent years I have proposed a novel theory for the onset of slip (formerly known as the “static friction coefficient”) that is based on:

  • An armouring mechanism that results in few “soft spots” after slip [1].

  • A competition between disorder and elasticity that results in spatial correlations in stress [2].

  • A phase-transition-like behaviour that results in a critical stress for slip (the “dynamic friction coefficient”) [3].


Selected publications