Difference Between
versus

Elastic Collision vs. Inelastic Collision: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 28, 2024
Elastic collisions preserve both total kinetic energy and momentum, while inelastic collisions conserve momentum but not kinetic energy.
Elastic Collision vs. Inelastic Collision

Key Differences

In an Elastic Collision, both momentum and kinetic energy are conserved. The objects bounce off with no loss in overall kinetic energy. Conversely, in an Inelastic Collision, while momentum remains conserved, kinetic energy is not conserved. Some of it is transformed into other forms of energy, such as heat or sound.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
During an Elastic Collision, objects collide and return to their original shape with no lasting deformation. The kinetic energy before and after the collision remains the same. On the other hand, Inelastic Collisions often result in objects becoming deformed or stuck together, indicating a loss of kinetic energy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
Elastic Collisions are idealized scenarios, common in theoretical physics, but less often observed in real-world situations. In these collisions, the sum of the kinetic energies of the objects before collision equals the sum after collision. In Inelastic Collisions, part of the kinetic energy is converted into other forms of energy, which is why these are more commonly observed in everyday situations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
In Elastic Collisions, the objects do not stick together but rebound off each other. This is typical in billiard balls or gas molecules. In contrast, Inelastic Collisions often result in the colliding objects sticking together or changing shape, as seen in a car crash where the vehicles may crumple and join together.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
Elastic Collisions are characterized by a total conservation of mechanical energy. They are exemplified in systems like pendulums or atomic particles. Inelastic Collisions, however, are characterized by a partial loss of the system's mechanical energy. This energy is not destroyed but transformed, as seen in sports like football or rugby, where collisions are frequent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Energy Conservation

Total kinetic energy is conserved
Kinetic energy is not conserved
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Momentum Conservation

Momentum is conserved
Momentum is conserved
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Physical Deformation

No permanent deformation
Permanent deformation or objects stick together
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Typical Examples

Colliding billiard balls
A car crash
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Energy Transformation

No transformation of kinetic energy
Kinetic energy is partly converted to other energy forms
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Elastic Collision and Inelastic Collision Definitions

Elastic Collision

A collision where objects rebound without lasting deformation.
In an elastic collision, the rubber balls bounced back to their original shape and speed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Inelastic Collision

A collision resulting in deformation or sticking together.
In the inelastic collision, the clay balls stuck together, losing their individual shapes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Elastic Collision

A collision in which kinetic energy is conserved.
The billiard balls exhibited an elastic collision, bouncing off each other without losing speed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Inelastic Collision

A collision where some kinetic energy is lost to other forms.
The inelastic collision of the football players resulted in energy dissipation through sound and heat.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Elastic Collision

An ideal collision with total energy and momentum conservation.
The elastic collision between the particles in the gas preserved their total energy and momentum.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024
ADVERTISEMENT

Inelastic Collision

A collision where kinetic energy is not conserved.
The car crash was an inelastic collision, as the kinetic energy was partly converted to heat and sound.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Elastic Collision

A collision in which no energy is converted to other forms.
The elastic collision of atoms in a perfect gas involves no energy loss to heat.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Inelastic Collision

A real-world collision with energy transformation.
During the inelastic collision, the crumpling of the metal absorbed some of the vehicles' kinetic energy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Elastic Collision

A perfectly efficient collision with no kinetic energy loss.
The pendulum demonstrated an elastic collision, swinging back with undiminished energy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Inelastic Collision

A collision in which objects do not rebound perfectly.
The inelastic collision between the two soft toys resulted in them slowly separating after impact.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is conserved in an elastic collision?

Both momentum and kinetic energy are conserved in an elastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Are elastic collisions common in everyday life?

Elastic collisions are less common in everyday life and more idealized.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Do objects change shape permanently in an elastic collision?

No, objects do not undergo permanent deformation in an elastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can kinetic energy be lost in an elastic collision?

No, kinetic energy is not lost in an elastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Is energy transformed in an elastic collision?

No, there is no transformation of energy in an elastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Do objects change shape in an inelastic collision?

Yes, objects often deform or stick together in an inelastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can an inelastic collision ever be completely inelastic?

Yes, in a completely inelastic collision, the colliding bodies stick together.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can kinetic energy be lost in an inelastic collision?

Yes, kinetic energy is partially lost in an inelastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Are car crashes examples of elastic or inelastic collisions?

Car crashes are examples of inelastic collisions.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can an elastic collision occur in gases?

Yes, elastic collisions can occur between molecules in gases.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

What is conserved in an inelastic collision?

Momentum is conserved, but kinetic energy is not conserved in an inelastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can temperature affect the elasticity of a collision?

Yes, temperature can affect the material properties and thus the nature of a collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Are inelastic collisions common in everyday life?

Yes, inelastic collisions are more common in everyday situations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Are elastic collisions perfectly efficient?

In theory, yes, as they involve no loss of kinetic energy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Can an object's speed change after an elastic collision?

Yes, while the total kinetic energy is conserved, an object's individual speed can change after an elastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Is energy transformed in an inelastic collision?

Yes, some kinetic energy is transformed into other forms of energy in an inelastic collision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Does an inelastic collision imply total energy loss?

No, total energy is conserved, but kinetic energy is partially transformed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

What happens to sound and heat in an inelastic collision?

In an inelastic collision, some kinetic energy may be converted into sound and heat.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Is a bouncing ball an example of an elastic collision?

It can be, if the ball rebounds without losing kinetic energy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Are billiard ball collisions typically elastic?

Yes, billiard ball collisions are often considered elastic.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 28, 2024

Share this page

Link for your blog / website
HTML
Link to share via messenger
About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.
PPM vs. PPMVPPM vs. PPMV
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 10, 2024
PPM (parts per million) measures the concentration of one substance within a million parts of another. PPMV (parts per million by volume) expresses gas concentration as volume per million volumes of air.
Poster vs. InfographicPoster vs. Infographic
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
Crane vs. HeronCrane vs. Heron
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
June 24, 2024
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds known for their elaborate dances, while herons are typically more solitary, stealth hunters with a distinctive S-shaped neck.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.

Featured Comparisons

New Comparisons