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Let's turn this around. In an inelastic collision, some of the energy, instead of remaining with the center of mass of the objects colliding, is dissipated as heat - an increase in the random motion of the atoms and molecules of the objects colliding. At the (sub) atomic level, the two particles involved in a simple collision are the same two objects that ...


Yes, the insect does actually travel at 0mph when it reverses direction. The critical aspect that you are missing is that the time that it is not moving is infinitely short. Actually, I would think that the head stops, then the thorax and finally the tail as it is squished up against the train.


Both the insect and the train window are deformable. Microscopically so, but deformable nonetheless. Because of that fact, the insect slows continuously to zero, reverses direction, and then speeds up in the direction the train is going. To our human perception this happens imperceptibly fast.


Now if they are both shot at ballistic gelatin, which one is expected to cause more damage if both are stopped by the gelatin ? By damage here I mean more penetration, bigger cavity, heat and any other deformation of the gelatin. In other words, if the velocity of a projectile is doubled, will the amount of damage it causes when it collides with ...

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