# What is an inelastic collision?

An *inelastic collision* is one where the momentum is conserved in the collision but the kinetic energy is not.

This indicates that in an inelastic collision, the involved objects' kinetic energy varies both before and after the impact.

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An inelastic collision is a type of collision where kinetic energy is not conserved, and the colliding objects stick together after the collision.

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An inelastic collision is a type of collision in physics where kinetic energy is not conserved. In such collisions, some of the kinetic energy of the colliding objects is transformed into other forms of energy, such as thermal energy, sound energy, or deformation energy. As a result, the total kinetic energy of the system before and after the collision is not the same.

Inelastic collisions typically involve objects that stick together after colliding or experience deformation during the collision. This can happen in various scenarios, such as in car crashes, where the vehicles deform upon impact, or in sports like billiards, where the balls may stick together after colliding.

The key characteristic of an inelastic collision is that momentum is conserved, meaning that the total momentum of the system before the collision is equal to the total momentum after the collision. However, unlike elastic collisions where kinetic energy is conserved and objects bounce off each other without deformation, inelastic collisions result in a loss of kinetic energy due to internal forces acting within the colliding objects.

Mathematically, the coefficient of restitution, which measures the ratio of final relative velocity to initial relative velocity, is less than 1 in an inelastic collision. This indicates that the objects do not bounce off each other perfectly and some energy is lost in the collision process.

Overall, inelastic collisions are characterized by a loss of kinetic energy and the conversion of some of that energy into other forms, leading to changes in the motion and behavior of the colliding objects.

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