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Homework Help: Consevation of energy in collisions

  1. Jul 30, 2008 #1
    I am going through some questions for resits in August, and I have no idea what this question is wanting me to explain :

    "Briefly discuss the circumstances under which (i) momentum, (ii) kinetic energy and (iii) total energy are conserved in collisions between two bodies. [3]"

    it's only a 3 marker, so i'm sure it's not wanting an essay, but I just don't even know where to start... HELP!!!!!!

    Cheers guys
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thread moved to Homework Help. Here's a hint, rugapark. Check out the terms elastic collision and inelastic collision, and see if that info helps. You can read about them at wikipedia.org, or in your textbook and course materials. Does that get you going again?
  4. Jul 30, 2008 #3
    Don't take my word, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but wouldn't the only case where all three are conserved is in an environment where there is no friction?
  5. Jul 30, 2008 #4
    so would i be right in saying,

    "If the collision between the two bodies is an elastic collision, all momentum, kinetic energy and total energy will be conserved as elastic collisions do not convert any original energy forms into another."

    I am struggling to understand this, but I really am determined to get it soon.. so please excuse me if any of my comments seem a little... "crappy" :)

  6. Jul 31, 2008 #5
    Yes, that would be right.
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