difference between elastic and inelastic collision

Difference Between Elastic and Inelastic Collision

Overview of Collisions

Collisions are events where two or more objects come together with enough force to alter the objects’ motion. Collisions can either be elastic or inelastic. In both cases, the objects involved collide with each other, but the effect of the collision varies between elastic and inelastic collisions.

Elastic Collision

In an elastic collision, the objects involved bounce off each other with no loss of energy. In other words, the kinetic energy is conserved after the collision. In an elastic collision, the objects involved exchange energy with each other but don’t lose any energy to the environment.

One good example of an elastic collision is a game of pool or billiard balls where two balls strike each other and bounce back in the opposite direction with the same speed.

Inelastic Collision

In an inelastic collision, the objects involved stick together after the collision, and the kinetic energy is not conserved. In other words, the objects involved lose some energy to the environment.

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A car collision is an example of an inelastic collision. During a car crash, the kinetic energy is not conserved, and the bumper, windshield, and other parts of the car are crushed, and the car will not move after the collision.

Differences Between Elastic and Inelastic Collision

The main difference between an elastic and inelastic collision is the energy exchanged between the objects involved. In an elastic collision, the objects involved bounce back with the same speed, and no energy is lost to the environment. However, in an inelastic collision, the objects involved stick together after the collision, and kinetic energy is not conserved.

Another difference between elastic and inelastic collisions is the force exerted during the collision. In an elastic collision, the force exerted between the objects is equal and opposite. However, in an inelastic collision, the force exerted between the objects is not equal and opposite.

Conclusion

In conclusion, collisions can either be elastic or inelastic. The difference between the two types of collisions lies in the conservation of kinetic energy and the force exerted during the collision. Understanding the differences between elastic and inelastic collisions is crucial in the study of physics and is essential in various industries, such as transportation and sports.

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Table difference between elastic and inelastic collision

Parameter Elastic Collision Inelastic Collision
Definition Collision where the total kinetic energy is conserved and the objects bounce off each other. Collision where the total kinetic energy is not conserved and the objects stick together.
Momentum Conservation Equation m1v1i + m2v2i = m1v1f + m2v2f m1v1i + m2v2i = (m1 + m2)vf
Equation for Final Velocities v1f = (m1 – m2)v1i + 2m2v2i / (m1 + m2) vf = (m1v1i + m2v2i) / (m1 + m2)
Kinetic Energy Conservation Equation 1/2m1v1i2 + 1/2m2v2i2 = 1/2m1v1f2 + 1/2m2v2f2 1/2m1v1i2 + 1/2m2v2i2 > 1/2(m1 + m2)vf2
Example Billiard balls colliding on a pool table. A car colliding with a wall.