Tribology (from the Greek word “tribos”, which means “to rub”) is the study of friction, lubrication, and wear, an inherently challenging field requiring much interdisciplinary cooperation. By most recent estimates, improved attention to tribology would save developed countries up to 1.6% of their gross national product, or over $100 billion annually in the United States alone. The magnitude of the financial loss associated with friction and wear arises from the fact that entire mechanical systems, be they coffee makers or automobiles, are frequently scrapped when only a few of their parts are badly worn. In the case of an automobile, the cost of the energy consumed in its manufacture is equivalent to that required to operate it for 100,000 miles.