friction - resistance to the motion of one surface over another. The amount of friction is dependent on the smoothness of the contacting surfaces, as well as the force with which they are pressed together. Friction between unlubricated solid bodies is independent of speed and area. The coefficient of friction is obtained by dividing the force required to move one body over a horizontal surface at constant speed by the weight of the body; e.g., if a force of 4 kilograms is required to move a body weighing 10 kilograms, the coefficient of friction is 0.4. Coefficients of rolling friction (e.g., the motion of a tire or ball bearing) are much less than coefficients of sliding friction (back and forth motion over two flat surfaces). Sliding friction is thus more wasteful of energy and can cause more wear. Fluid friction occurs between the molecules of a gas or liquid in motion, and is expressed as shear stress. Unlike solid friction, fluid friction varies with speed and area. In general, lubrication is the substitution of low fluid friction in place of high solid-to-solid friction. See asperities, tribology.