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In physics, collision means the action of bodies striking or coming together (touching). Collisions can be either elastic or inelastic (or plastic).

In traffic such a collision can be between two vehicles, a vehicle and a person, a vehicle and an object, two persons or a person and an object (and more if an animal is involved). It is an accident or even a disaster. At level crossings sometimes a train collides with a vehicle or person. Due to the speed and weight of a train it needs a long distance to stop, typically longer than the train driver can see ahead. When a train collides with a car this is more likely to be deadly for the people in the car than for those in the train, because the train is stronger. Bumper cars are designed for collisions for fun.

In billiards collisions play an important role. Because the collisions between billiard balls are almost perfectly elastic, and the balls roll on a low-friction surface, their predictable behaviour is often used to illustrate Newton's laws of motion.

In telecommunication, the term collision has the following meanings:

  1. In a data transmission system, the situation that occurs when two or more demands are made simultaneously on equipment that can handle only one at any given instant.
  2. In a computer, the situation that occurs when an attempt is made to store simultaneously two different data items at a given address that can hold only one of the items.

See also crater, impact event

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188

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