Crumple zones: crash
into wall worksheet - energy
changes other worksheets
for use with the Crumple zones: crash into wall simulation
from the materialworlds Crash simulations
© materialworlds.com 2002
Investigate the different collision energy changes for cars with and without crumple zones.
The energy graphs (see the graphs accompanying the simulation or printout the diagram accompanying this worksheet) show how kinetic energy (KE), potential energy (PE) and their sum KE+PE varies for each car throughout the collisions.
1. What sort of PE do you think graphs refer to?
2. Describe and explain the energy changes that occur in the car without crumple zones.
3. Describe and explain the energy changes that occur in the car with crumple zones.
4. What are the main differences between the energy changes in the two vehicles?
5. What do you think has happened to the KE+PE lost in the collisions?
6. The car with crumple zones is left with some residual PE after the collision (that isn't converted back to KE). How could this happen? (Is it just a misleading artefact of the simulation - or is it something that might happen in reality?)