What are elastic and inelastic collisions?
What is an elastic collision?
Why would we ever approximate a collision as perfectly elastic?
- Object A collides with an equal mass target B which is at rest:
- Object A collides with an equal mass object B. Objects have equal but oppositely directed velocity.,
- A heavy object collides with a much lighter target which is at rest.The final velocity of the heavy object tends to its initial velocity. This is fairly intuitive; the light object has little effect on the heavy one.
- A light object collides with a much heavier target which is at rest.The light object bounces off the target, maintaining the same speed but with opposite direction. The heavy target remains at rest.