How friction diminishes at the nanoscale
Wrong! you think?
Well yes, in the context of rising surface area friction really does rise when going down to the the nanoscale, but in other regards it shrinks.
First there is superlubricity,
but there are other perhaps more deep reasons for friction to diminish at the nanoscale. Its about the issue that in systems small enough
- there are few degrees of freedom for energy to be dispersed into (thermalized/devaluated/dissipated) and
- there can be the quantum effect of a minimum activation energy that needs to be overcome before a degree of freedom becomes available. (This can be seem in the heat capacity of polyatomic gases where steps represent the "quantum activation" of degrees of freedom).
(wiki-TODO: Elaborate on that here. A lot is in the in the as of yet unpublished ReChain zim-wiki)
- Low speed efficiency limit (wiki-TODO: maybe move stuff over to here?) the interplanetary analogy ...
- There are a plethora of friction mechanisms but all those seem less fundamental than what is discussed here.
- Equipartitioning theorem (every degree of freedom gets an energy of kBT on average)