Box pushing

What can you do here
Try to push the box while holding its handle. Have you managed to move it?
Then try to move the box by holding its handle and dragging it. Has it made any difference? Notice that in both cases setting the chest in motion is the most difficult part and moving it along is actually a bit easier.

How does it work
Force is a vector quantity. That means that to describe it in full you need to state not only its magnitude (which would be enough in the case of, e.g., mass), but also its direction and sense. The handle determines the distribution of forces both when pushing and dragging. The force we apply to push the box can be seen as the result of two forces (see the picture), one of which is acting downwards, pressing the box to the ground and increasing the friction. In the case of dragging, one of the forces acts upwards, which has the effect of decreasing the pressure and the strength of friction.

Either way, setting the box in motion takes more effort than moving it along. When the box is stationary, we deal with the static friction, which is stronger than the kinetic friction present when the surfaces move against each other.

Interesting facts
Application of the presented laws may be helpful while moving furniture. While pulling the wardrobe, try to lift it slightly upward.Sometimes too small friction is unfavorable, as in the case of a delivery truck without load which is moving upwards on slippery surface.