Possible misconceptions about solid friction

KIZILCIK H. Ş., Aygun M., ŞAHİN E., Onder-Celikkanli N., Turk O., TAŞKIN T., ...More

PHYSICAL REVIEW PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH, vol.17, no.2, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1103/physrevphyseducres.17.023107
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This study aims to make a thematic classification of possible misconceptions about solid friction by reviewing papers in the literature which include conceptual difficulties about friction; in this way, the study contributes to the literature. The study's scope was limited to the dry friction that occurs with the interaction of two solid objects, as this is included in several curricula. Papers in the literature addressing the conceptual difficulties associated with friction were reviewed. Hence, 42 primary data sources (papers) accessed from various databases were subjected to content analysis. Possible misconceptions about friction were determined by the data collection techniques or tools of the study, the educational levels of the sample, and the countries in which they took place. At the end of the study, a list of possible misconceptions about solid friction were classified and listed under four themes: definition and existence, direction, type and magnitude, and effects of friction. Most of the possible misconceptions are in the type and magnitude theme and the least were in the direction theme. But friction is always opposite to the direction of the motion as a possible misconception was detected in the highest number of papers. Related to this, the possible misconception that friction prevents movement was frequently encountered. It was also found that both the distinction between sliding and rolling friction and kinetic and static friction was often ignored. In addition, some of the possible misconceptions were found to be similar regardless of country, culture, or education system, as in the previous literature. One of the results of the study is that possible misconceptions are not only held by the students but also held by teachers and preservice teachers. In this respect, the results of the study are also considerable in terms of the direction of teachers in in-service training studies.