Impact definition

Physical impact refers to the collision or forceful contact between objects, resulting in a change in their motion, shape, or condition. It involves the transfer of energy and can have various effects, depending on the nature and intensity of the impact. Below you will kind key aspects of impact.

Conservation of momentum

When two objects collide, the total momentum before the impact is equal to the total momentum after the impact, provided no external forces are acting on the system. This principle is known as the conservation of momentum.

Elastic and inelastic collisions

Depending on the objects involved and the nature of the impact, collisions can be classified as elastic or inelastic. In elastic collisions, kinetic energy is conserved, and the objects bounce off each other without deformation. In inelastic collisions, kinetic energy is not conserved, and the objects may stick together or deform upon impact.

Impulse and force

Impulse is the change in momentum caused by a force acting over a given time interval. When an object experiences an impact, the force exerted on it is directly related to the rate of change of momentum. The longer the duration of the impact, the smaller the force required to produce a given change in momentum.

Damage and deformation

Depending on the magnitude and distribution of forces during an impact, objects can experience damage or deformation. For example, in a car crash, the impact can cause structural damage, crumpling of the vehicle, and injury to occupants.

Safety measures

Understanding physical impacts is crucial in fields such as engineering, transportation, sports, and safety. It helps in designing structures, vehicles, protective gear, and safety protocols to minimize the risk of injuries and mitigate the effects of impacts.


These concepts provide a general overview of physical impact and its implications. The specific effects of physical impacts can vary widely depending on the circumstances and materials involved.

Materials for this article were gathered from various public sources or written by editors.
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