Although the study of friction has a long history, ice friction has only been investigated during the last century. The basic physical concepts underlying the different friction regimes, such as boundary, mixed, and hydrodynamic friction are also relevant to ice friction. However, these friction regimes must be described with respect to the thickness of the lubricating liquidlike layer on ice. In this review the state of knowledge on the physics of ice friction is discussed. Surface melting theories are introduced. These theories attempt to explain the existence and nature of the liquidlike surface layer on ice at any temperature and without any load applied. Pressure melting, as the long-time explanation for the ease of ice friction, is discussed, together with the prevailing theory of frictional heating. The various laboratory setups for ice friction measurements are presented as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The individual influence of the different parameters on the coefficient of ice friction is discussed; these include the effects of temperature, sliding velocity, normal force exerted by the sliding object, the contact area between ice and slider, relative humidity, and also properties of the slider material such as surface roughness, surface structure, wettability, and thermal conductivity. Finally, the most important ice friction models based on the frictional heating theory are briefly introduced and research directions on the subject of ice friction are discussed.

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