Collisions: Elastic and inelastic forces

Time to complete course: 15 min.

Try our lab safety simulation

Discover one of 200+ learning simulations available today

About Collisions: Elastic and inelastic forces Virtual Lab Simulation

Brace for impact! In this simulation, you will learn how to use momentum conservation to predict the outcome of a collision, and demonstrate how momentum is conserved in elastic and inelastic collisions. 

Help Newton improve his pool

Isaac Newton is a great physicist, but he still has plenty to learn as a pool player. Students will help Newton apply his knowledge of momentum conservation, kinetic energy, and elastic and inelastic collisions to improve his pool skills. After finding out about the elements of energy and momentum conservation in collisions, students will solve puzzles that allow them to demonstrate momentum conservation and prove their knowledge of the topic.

Trigger collisions between billiard balls

Students will produce collisions between balls with different properties in a wide range of scenarios. These include balls that produce elastic collisions, balls that produce completely inelastic collisions, and balls that have different masses, materials, and initial velocities.

The parameters of the collision, including mass, velocity, and momentum of each ball are displayed in real time, allowing the student to observe the conservation of total momentum in each collision. 

The student is presented with a sequence of scenarios that increasingly build complexity and skill, starting from observation and culminating in informed decision-making in which the student will apply their newly acquired knowledge on momentum conservation.

Solve puzzles about momentum conservation

In the end, you will apply your knowledge of momentum conservation and elastic and inelastic collisions to produce collisions and solve puzzles. Will you run the table in this match?

Get Started Now

Join Dr. One and Isaac Newton at the pool table to learn about momentum conservation and elastic and inelastic collisions.

Techniques in Lab

  • Collisions
  • Momentum
  • Linear momentum
  • Momentum conservation
  • Energy
  • Kinetic energy
  • Elastic/Inelastic collision
  • Completely inelastic collision
  • Energy conservation

Learning Objectives

  • Apply the momentum equation to calculate total momentum before collision events and velocities of objects after collisions
  • Experimentally demonstrate the conservation of momentum
  • Differentiate between examples of inelastic and elastic collisions

Simulation Features

Length – 15 minutes
Accessibility mode – Not Available
Languages – English

Examples of Related Standards

  • HS-PS1
  • PS1A
  • PS1B
  • Physics C: Mechanics Unit 4.3
  • Physics 2 Unit 2.8
  • Physics 2 Unit 2.9

Screenshots of Collisions: Elastic and inelastic forces Virtual Lab Simulation


How it works

A million dollar lab in your browser

Perform experiments in virtual lab simulations to achieve core science learning outcomes. 

All our simulations run on laptop and desktop computers, and you can play our simulations without having to install any browser plugins.

See detailed minimum requirements here.

Hundreds of hours of science learning content

Our virtual laboratory simulations are aimed at university, college and high school level, within fields such as biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and more.

With access to our simulations, you will have hundreds of hours of engaging, high-quality learning content available to you.

Discover more Virtual Lab Simulations

We currently have 273 simulations that cover everything from biology and medicine to physics and chemistry.

Learn how you can use Labster in your science course

Take a 15 Minute “Lab Break” with a Virtual Lab Expert

Talk to one of our Virtual Lab Experts about how Labster can engage your students with our virtual labs for online, hybrid and face-to-face courses.

Lab break coffee with us

Please fill out the form below to talk with one of our Lab Experts. 

You must opt in to receive emails from Labster. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Thank you for your submission!

The simulation is already added to this package

Step 1: Choose your simulations

Find and select the simulations that you want to add to your course.

Step 2: Review simulation list

This is the list of simulations that will be added to your course. Click Download once you are ready.

Press the + button next to the simulations that you want to add to your list, or add all the simulations of this package by pressing “add all simulations”.


Related Simulations

No simulations added yet.
    Download the .zip file and upload it to your LMS.

    Download Common Cartridge File

    Choose your Learning Management System below:
    Generating download link. Please wait...
    Congratulations! You can now upload the .zip file into your LMS by the following these instructions:

    Simulation name

    Image container

    Learning Outcomes

    Learning outcomes container


    Techniques container

    Simulation Description

    Description container

    Are you sure you want to delete?

    Package deleted successfully