Energy loss during collisions.

In summary, the conversation discusses the comparison of energy loss in two different situations involving elastic and inelastic collisions between two boxes with no external forces or springs. The participants question how energy can be lost in the absence of deformation or heat generation, and consider the possibility of sound being the source of energy loss.
  • #1
icesalmon
270
13

Homework Statement


I was asked to compare the energy loss of a system of two boxes moving towards each other, colliding elastically and in-elastically in two different situations that are not influenced by friction. There are no springs attached to either mass

The Attempt at a Solution


I believe the magnitude of the energy lost in the inelastic collision is more than that of the energy lost in an elastic collision undergoing no net external force, is energy loss due to internal forces in these situations? I believe there is no change in kinetic energy or momentum in an elastic collision while there is a change in the kinetic energy of the system in an inelastic collision but no change in momentum in this case. How is energy lost if there is no deformation of the material? No heat generated by the collision? Could sound really give off all that energy? I'm not sure, thank you for your time.
 
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  • #2
icesalmon said:
How is energy lost if there is no deformation of the material? No heat generated by the collision?
Why do you think there is no deformation, or no heat generated? Unless you have a reason why that is true, the question is hypothetical.

Could sound really give off all that energy?

It's unlikely that much kinetic energy will be dissipated as sound. It's much more likely that most of it is converted into heat.
 
  • #3
They never say in the problem that it occurs, so I am left to assume it doesn't. It says they "latch" together. I keep thinking of a link like train cars have is the latch they speak of. Common sense may dictate that this is not the case. Maybe I left a little of that out in my thought process. :redface:
 

Related to Energy loss during collisions.

1. What is energy loss during collisions?

Energy loss during collisions refers to the decrease in energy that occurs when two objects collide. This energy is usually converted into other forms, such as heat or sound.

2. Why does energy loss occur during collisions?

Energy loss occurs during collisions due to factors such as friction, deformation of the objects, and the conversion of kinetic energy into other forms. In an ideal scenario, where there is no friction or deformation, there would be no energy loss.

3. How is energy loss during collisions calculated?

The amount of energy lost during a collision can be calculated using the law of conservation of energy, which states that the total energy of a closed system remains constant. By measuring the initial and final kinetic energies of the objects involved in the collision, the amount of energy lost can be determined.

4. Can energy loss during collisions be prevented?

In most cases, it is not possible to completely prevent energy loss during collisions. However, steps can be taken to minimize the loss, such as reducing friction and using materials that are less likely to deform upon impact.

5. How does energy loss during collisions affect real-world scenarios?

Energy loss during collisions has a significant impact on real-world scenarios, such as car accidents or sports injuries. It can result in damage to the objects involved and can also cause injuries to the individuals involved in the collision. Understanding and controlling energy loss during collisions is important for ensuring safety in various applications.

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