elasinelas

elasinelas - Elastic and Inelastic Collisions We now know...

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Elastic and Inelastic Collisions We now know that momentum is conserved in collisions. This will hold true as long as the objects are an isolated system . Isolated : No matter or energy is allowed to enter or leave the system. Closed : No matter is allowed to enter or leave the system. Energy can enter or leave. Open : Energy and matter can enter or leave. If we are dealing with a collision involving really small objects (like atoms or molecules, things that are microscopic ) you’ll often find that kinetic energy is also conserved. The total kinetic energy of all particles before the collision equals the total kinetic energy of all particles after the collision. This is a special case of conservation of energy. Notice that rather than just saying “energy is conserved” (which would imply that we need to take into account all kinds of energy), we have to focus on only kinetic energy . These types of collisions are elastic collisions ; they are quite rare, and as already pointed out usually only happen at an atomic level. In “regular” collisions involving “regular” sized objects (like people, watermelons, and asteroids, things that are macroscopic ), kinetic energy is not conserved.
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This note was uploaded on 02/29/2012 for the course PHYS 227 taught by Professor Rabe during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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elasinelas - Elastic and Inelastic Collisions We now know...

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