# How can inelastic collision actually have conserved momentum.

• student34
In summary, momentum is conserved in an inelastic collision due to the total mass and velocity of the system remaining the same before and after the collision. However, kinetic energy decreases in an inelastic collision due to the conversion of some of the energy into other forms, such as heat and sound. This is also true for perfectly inelastic collisions, although all of the kinetic energy is converted. In an inelastic collision between objects of different masses, momentum is still conserved but the less massive object will experience a greater change in velocity. The coefficient of restitution is less than 1 in an inelastic collision because the objects deform and lose some of their initial kinetic energy, resulting in a lower value for the measure of elasticity.

#### student34

When heat and acoustic energy are radiated from the system, doesn't this mean that the mass must have decreased as we know E = mc^2? I must be wrong, but I can't see where.

## 1. How can momentum be conserved in an inelastic collision?

In an inelastic collision, the objects involved stick together and move as one, resulting in a decrease in their combined kinetic energy. However, momentum is still conserved because the total mass and velocity of the system remains the same before and after the collision.

## 2. Why does kinetic energy decrease in an inelastic collision?

In an inelastic collision, some of the kinetic energy is converted into other forms, such as heat and sound. This is due to the objects deforming and the intermolecular bonds being broken in the process of sticking together.

## 3. Can momentum be conserved in a perfectly inelastic collision?

Yes, momentum is still conserved in a perfectly inelastic collision because the total mass and velocity of the system remains the same before and after the collision. However, all of the kinetic energy is converted into other forms, making it a special case of inelastic collisions.

## 4. What happens to momentum in an inelastic collision between two objects of different masses?

In an inelastic collision between two objects of different masses, the momentum is still conserved. However, the less massive object will experience a greater change in velocity compared to the more massive object.

## 5. Why is the coefficient of restitution less than 1 in an inelastic collision?

The coefficient of restitution is a measure of the elasticity of a collision, with a value of 1 representing a perfectly elastic collision. In an inelastic collision, the objects deform and lose some of their initial kinetic energy, resulting in a value of the coefficient of restitution less than 1.