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Collision Definition

A collision is when one object hits another. For example, in sports, a bat hitting a ball.

View Lesson on Collisions
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Fun Facts

  • A bat colliding with a baseball transfers energy, setting the ball in motion.
  • Energy is transferred when a drum stick hits a gong, producing sound.
  • Plexiglass sheets surround hockey rinks to prevent pucks from colliding with fans.

Why Do We Need To Know About Collision

Learning about how things collide can help you understand why cars are built to keep us safe. Engineers make special parts of cars, called crumple zones. These squish to absorb crash energy, so people inside the car feel less of the hit.

This idea helps us understand why safety is important in sports, cars, and even how animals act. If something is heavy and fast, it hits harder, which is why we have strong glass at hockey games, safety features in cars, and why animals have their own ways of staying safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

True or false: Only humans use energy.
False. People use energy to make things happen, such as lifting weight, but it's not just people that use energy. Water uses energy to turn a water wheel, wind uses energy to spin wind turbines and animals use energy when running or butting heads.
Explain how energy is transferred to make the Rube Goldberg Machine work.
The weight drops the top ramp, which collides with the metal ball. The metal ball rolls down a series of ramps and collides with a rod that releases the spinning circle. The spinning circle travels down as it spins, which eventually pulls the large hanging metal ball loose. The ball drops slowly as it unwinds, turning the windmill. That eventually pulls a pin holding the ice. The ice slides down the tube and drops into the pitcher. During each collision energy is transferred between objects.
Explain how energy is transferred from a baseball bat to a baseball.
At the moment the bat touches the ball, energy from the moving bat is transferred to the ball, setting it in motion.
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