What are the differences between elastic and inelastic collisions?

Asked by NAKSHATRA | 14th Feb, 2014, 10:49: AM

Expert Answer:

Elastic collision: The collisions in which both momentum and kinetic energy of the system are conserved are called elastic collisions.
 
The collision between two bodies and subatomic particles are elastic in nature. Indaily life, the collisions betweeen two glass or preferably ivory balls may  be taken as elastic collisions.

Characteristics of elastic collisions:
i) The momentum is conserved.
ii) The total energy is conserved.
iii) The kinetic energy is conserved.
iv) The mechanical energy is not converted into any other form (sound, heat, light) of energy.
v) Forces involved during the interaction are of conservative nature.
 
Inelastic collision: The collisions in which the momentum of the system is conserved but the kinetic energy is not conserved are called inelastic collisions.
Most of the collisions in every-day life are inelastic collisions. The kinetic energy lost in an inelastic collision appears in some other form of energy such as heat, sound, etc.
 
Characteristics of inelastic collisions:
i) The momentum is conserved.
ii) The total energy is conserved.
iii) The kinetic energy is not conserved.
iv) A part or or whole of the mechanical energy may be converted into other forms (heat, light, sound), etc.
v) Some or all of the forces involved are non-conservative in nature.

Answered by  | 14th Feb, 2014, 11:55: AM

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