How to Find Acceleration with Friction: Exhaustive Approaches and Facts

How to find acceleration with friction is the most asked question in recent times. We must know that wherever friction is present, there will always be acceleration.

Right now, we need to understand what friction means and how it affects acceleration, and finally, how to find acceleration with friction.

There are different kinds of force acting on an object under motion. But one force that exists between the object and the surface is called as the frictional force.

There is friction in every action we take upon. There is another fact that friction is sole reason for mobility of any walking being on earth.

Friction not just exists between physical amenities but also in the air too. Like friction exist in air drag too. The friction we are talking about mainly depends on the type of material too. When the material is rough, there is more friction present.

Instant friction occurs when any two objects is moved against each other. The friction will be in opposition to the motion and against it too. Coming to motion, when an object is in motion, and when the velocity is changed, the concept of acceleration occurs.

We know that when the velocity is changed instantly, acceleration comes into play. So when acceleration is caused, friction between the concerned objects is taken into consideration. Mainly the object or body is considered along with the surface in which it is in motion.

Can there be acceleration with friction

Yes, there can be acceleration with friction. In most cases, acceleration causes friction, and how to find acceleration with friction is seen chiefly.

When the force acting on the body or an object stops, there will be no acceleration. There are several factors responsible for acceleration on an object; likewise, friction is one of those factors.

Friction is one of the reasons why vehicles move faster on a rough path. Due to the presence of friction between the wheels of the vehicles and the roads, the motion is faster.

The friction presence is the only reason that we can walk, run and do every physical activity that has contact with the surface we are placed over.

The relative motion between the objects is also called friction. So when a body is generally accelerated, the friction will be there by default. Several forces are acting on the object that contributes to its acceleration.

One principal is friction, the movement of small forces acting, and frictional force is present between the body and the surface.

There is always a factor proportional to the object in motion and that is acceleration. Several different forces act on the body, like gravitational force, normal force, tensional force, and frictional force. This actual very essential thing obeys Newton’s Second Law.

All these are called net forces and will differ based on the kind of object in motion. Friction acting on any object or body is been considered in this case.

Friction is necessary for any object to accelerate or even make a move. So this friction drives the body in motion. And how to find acceleration with friction is what we will see here.

How to find acceleration on an inclined plane with friction

We must be aware of the formula for acceleration form which we can easily derive formula for acceleration associated with friction. The formula is a = F/ m. This comes from Newton’s Second Law. Like we know that friction is included here, we need to derive the formula according to the situation, a = (F – Ff) / m.

Here friction will accelerate the object more. When the surface more rough, same way friction will be more.. The more frictionless, the more friction will be. Hence, we take it as a negative notion minus the frictional from the normal force and then find its acceleration.

Let us consider an object placed on a surface and let the number of forces act on the object, respectively.

Now we need to calculate the acceleration on the body when the net forces are acting on them. We need to pay attention to the kind of material the body is made of and also the kind of surface.

How  To Find Acceleration With Friction

Let the object be in an inclined position. Here three forces are acting, one is the gravitational force, normal force, and the last one is the frictional force. Since the object is inclined, it forms an angle with the surface it is in action with.

The X-axis of the gravitational force is parallel to the inclined plane, which has the object over it. Y-axis is perpendicular to the inclined. Next, we need to break up the gravitational force, and in this, there will be two components created.

One axis will be parallel to the incline, and the other axis will be perpendicular to the inclined. The inclined plane is at 24.5⁰ with the surface. Then the perpendicular component of the force of gravity is found by using the above measure keeping in mind the hypotenuse.

The Y-axis of the force of gravity will be the same as the force of normal. Here a condition appears where the object moves in the x component’s direction and not in the y component’s direction.

Now we consider the x-axis and find the acceleration with friction. We know the formula,     a = (F – Ff) / m. Usage of this formula, we finally find the acceleration with friction. We also will need information about the mass of the object.

Problem on how to find acceleration with friction


What is the acceleration of 8kg on an inclined plane that is 20⁰? The friction between the object and the surface on which it is placed is 0.25; it is also called as the coefficient of friction.


We know the formula for acceleration with force and mass, which is a=F/m. When friction is included, the formula will change.

We don’t exactly know the kind of forces acting on the moving object and in which direction is been accelerated. There is generally two elemental force acting on the object, normal force and gravitational force. Also now an additional force acts upon that is named as frictional force.

Since three forces act, the directions may vary, so for every force, there will be two components each. So considering the gravitational force, it is divided into two that is the x-axis and the y-axis.

In this case, we will be considered only x-direction because that is the direction in which the body moves.

Now when we divide the force of gravitation into two components, the x component will be parallel to the normal force, and the y component will be perpendicular to the normal force. This basically forms a triangle from which we will be deriving the value for force as such.

From the above diagram we derive certain formula, mg x = mg cosϴ; mgy = mg sinϴ.

Form this we finally derive the formula for how to find acceleration with friction,

a = (mgsinϴ – μ mgcosϴ)/ m

a = gsineϴ – μ mgcosϴ

a = 0.87 ms-2

Frequently Asked Questions

How does friction affect acceleration?

With the presence of friction alone, acceleration is possible in any object.

When the friction is present between the object and the surface, there will be acceleration by default. When the surface is rough, the friction is more, and when the surface is less, the friction is more minor.

What is friction?

Friction is the smallest force present between the object and the surface over which it will be in motion.

The comparable motion which is acting between the object under motion and the surface is called as friction. The frictional force is one of the major forces responsible for the motion of an object. This will have lubricated and will help for any object under motion. If friction is not present, then there is no way for a being to be able to walk, run, or any other physical movement.

Keerthana Srikumar

Hi...I am Keerthana Srikumar, currently pursuing Ph.D. in Physics and my area of specialization is nano-science. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's from Stella Maris College and Loyola College respectively. I have a keen interest in exploring my research skills and also have the ability to explain Physics topics in a simpler manner. Apart from academics I love to spend my time in music and reading books. Let's connect through LinkedIn-

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