drake asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 2 months ago

In inelastic collisions, many times the bodies heat up after colliding ?

Is this because distorted bodies have internal friction or is it because some of the kinetic energy of the bodies is transferred to the atoms in the bodies causing them to shake around?


I think the energy gets transferred to the atoms because the internal friction due to the distortion results in the atoms shaking.

Update 2:

That is of course if the body is inelastic. If it’s inelastic, it can distort, leading to internal friction of which the atoms receive some of the kinetic energy. If the body is elastic, rigid, and has an atomic structure which doesn’t allow distortion, then it kinetic energy from the collision won’t be transferred to the internal atoms. 

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    "Friction" is more relevant.  In elastic collisions kinetic energy is also transferred to atoms near the point of contact.  But that energy is restored.  Friction, broken bonds,plastic deformation or even chemical alteration are processes that absorb energy without restoring it.

  • 2 months ago

    Combination of both.  The "heat" energy is displayed by an increase in kinetic energy of the components (the "Particles").  This is what we actually measure when we measure temperature.  Temperature is not actually heat, it is a measurable change that is the consequence of transfer of heat.  It is a proxy measure of sorts.

    Quite a bit of the energy that is transferred from the inelastic collision is manifested as structural distortion, and not as "Heat" (change in temperature).  There is both work and heat transfer involved.

    Even if you follow that idea of "Internal friction", is that not simply heat transfer anyway?  What is friction?  It is work that gets converted to heat when the work is undone (reversed).  Not all of the work that occurs from the collision leads to a permanent distortion of the structure.  Some of that work is itself "elastic".

  • oubaas
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Inner friction is the answer !!

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