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Car crash-completely inelastic collision?

  1. Oct 25, 2007 #1
    If a car crashed into a tree, or a head-on collision with another vehicle, the collision would be completely inelastic correct?
    What would the kinetic energy be converted to? Internal energy?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

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    A head on with another same size vehicle could be fairly elastic - it depends on the speed and the angle.
    Hitting a tree is pretty inelastic - although you might bounce back slightly.
    The energy goes into deforming the crumple zone, creating free surfaces on broken parts and heating the compressed components.
     
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