Inelastic vs Elastic Collisions?

I know that elastic collisions conserve KE and p, and that inelastic collisions only conserve p.

My question is that why do objects attach to one another when they collide? isn't KE still being conserved in a way cause the object is moving?

Aslo say that we have a car and a bus colliding and we assume that energy and momentum is conserved but the car attaches itself to the bus...is that even possible? kind of confused here.

1 Answer

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  • Algol
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sometimes, such as when a bus and car collide, they become entangled, and so move together as one object. The reason that kinetic energy is not conserved is that some of this KE is lost to the environment in the form of sound and heat energy. So the net KE after the collision is less than the net KE before the collision.

    I hope you find this helpful.

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