We often hear in the news that two vehicles collided causing injuries to people. These collisions prove to be dangerous depending on the force they collide with each other. Let us try to find out how we can define collision? So to get started collision is a situation in which interacting bodies experience large forces for a short interval of time. The line along which the internal forces act during collision is known as the line of collision. Franck Hertz experiment explains about the elastic and inelastic collision.
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Types of Collision
Depending upon the velocity of the body with respect to the line of the collision, the collisions are classified into two types: Head-on Collision and Oblique Collision.
This type of collision happens when the velocities of both the particles are along the line of collision. This can be regarded as a collision in one dimension. A head-on collision is shown in the figure.
Read More: Franck Hertz Experiment
Oblique collision takes place when one of the two bodies has a velocity at an angle with the line of collision. In the case of an oblique collision, the component of velocity perpendicular to the line of the collision remains unchanged. This can be regarded as a collision in two dimensions.
To visualise what collisions actually are, click on the videos below
Elastic and Inelastic Collision
Apart from the above two classification collisions can also be classified on the basis of whether kinetic energy remains constant or not. If the kinetic energy of the system remains constant, then it is known as an elastic collision. While there are situations when some kinetic energy gets converted into heat, deformation of shape etc. These types of collisions are known as inelastic collisions.
Coefficient of Restitution
We often define another quantity known coefficient of restitution (e). It is defined as the ratio of the velocity of separation by the velocity of approach along the line of collision. So here,
Depending on the values of e we can infer the type of collision.
For e = 1, elastic collision
0 < e < 1, inelastic collision
e = 0, perfectly inelastic collision
Read More: Inelastic Collision
Watch the video and understand how airbags increase collision time during an impact
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is elastic collision?
Is momentum conserved in the case of an inelastic collision?
What is an example of an elastic collision?
What is the difference between elastic and inelastic collision?
A car hitting a tree is an example of which type of collision?
Watch the video and learn more about collision applications
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