Elastic collisionElastic collision
is a collision
in which the total kinetic energy
of the colliding bodies after collision is equal to their total kinetic energy before collision. Elastic collisions occur only if there is no conversion of kinetic energy into other forms, as in the collision of atoms
. In the case of macroscopic bodies this will not be the case as some of the energy will become heat
. In a collision between polyatomic molecules
, some kinetic energy may be converted into vibrational and rotational energy
of the molecules, but otherwise molecular collisions appear to be elastic.