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## Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm curious about how the math comes out when you apply conservation of momentum to the theoretical problem of a moving object having a purely inelastic collision with another stationary object in a single dimension. Since the velocity of the combined object is entirely determined by the initial speed of the moving object and the masses of the objects, these parameters also determine the amount of energy lost (when you compare the kinetic energy of the initial object versus that of the combined object).

But shouldn't energy loss be related to how much smashing and deformation goes on during the collision? Is there another interpretation I'm missing?

But shouldn't energy loss be related to how much smashing and deformation goes on during the collision? Is there another interpretation I'm missing?