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    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Published: Jan 2008

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    IN 1966, “TRIBOLOGY,” AS ANEWWORDIN SCIENCE, was first presented in a report by the U.K. Department of Education and Science, which has been usually known as the Jost report. Tribology is defined in this report as the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices. The report emphasized the importance and a great potential power of tribology as an individual branch of science in the development of modern national economy. In the history of science, however, research activities on tribology can be traced back to the 15th century, when Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) presented a scientific deduction on solid surface friction. As a practice-based subject, the formation and development of tribology have always been associated with the requirement from society and technology development. Tribology experienced several different stages in its history. Its developing process indicates an obvious trend of integration and combination of multi-scientific subjects in a multi-scale nature from macroscopic dimension to nanometre. The most remarkable character of tribology is the integration, combination, and interaction between multiscientific subjects. This not only broadens the scope of tribology research, but also enriches the research mode and methodology. An early research was typically of Amontons and Coulomb's work on solid surface friction before the 18th century. Based on experimental observations, they concluded an empirical formula of sliding friction. An experiment-based research mode represented a characteristic of this stage. At the end of the 19th century, Reynolds [1] revealed load carrying mechanics of lubricating films and established a foundation of the fluid lubrication theory based on viscous hydrodynamics. A new theoretical research mode was then initiated, which is associated with the continuous medium mechanics.

    Author Information:

    Wen, Shizhu
    Tsinghua University, Beijing,

    Luo, Jianbin
    Tsinghua University, Beijing,

    Hu, Yuanzhong
    Tsinghua University, Beijing,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D02.06

    DOI: 10.1520/MONO10085M