A collision occurs when two objects come in direct contact with each other. There are two types collisions namely Elastic collision and inelastic collision-
What is Elastic collision?
When two bodies collide but there is no loss of the overall kinetic energy, it is called a perfectly elastic collision. Basically, in the case of collision, the kinetic energy before the collision and after the collision remains the same and is not converted to any other form of energy. It can be either one-dimensional or two-dimensional. In the real world, perfect elastic collision is not possible because there is bound to be some conversion of energy, however small.
However, though there is no change in the linear momentum of the whole system, there is a change in the individual momenta of the involved components, which are equal and opposite in magnitude and cancel each other out and the initial energy is conserved.
Examples- When a ball at a billiard table hits another ball, it is an example of elastic collision. Similarly, when you throw a ball on the ground and it bounces back to your hand, there is no net change in the kinetic energy and hence, it is an elastic collision.
Difference between Elastic and Inelastic Collision
|The total kinetic energy is conserved.||The total kinetic energy of the bodies at the beginning and the end of the collision is different.|
|Momentum does not change.||Momentum changes.|
|No conversion of energy takes place.||Kinetic energy is changed into other energy such as sound or heat energy.|
|Highly unlikely in the real world as there is almost always a change in energy.||This is the normal form of collision in the real world.|
|An example of this can be swinging balls or a spacecraft flying near a planet but not getting affected by its gravity in the end.||Example of inelastic collision can be the collision of two cars.
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