In physics, elasticity is the ability of a body to resist a distorting influence or stress and to return to its original size and shape when the stress is removed.

Physics is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force.

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Solid objects will deform when forces are applied on them.

In physics, a force is any interaction that, when unopposed, will change the motion of an object.

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If the material is elastic, the object will return to its initial shape and size when these forces are removed.


The physical reasons for elastic behavior can be quite different for different materials.


In metals, the atomic lattice changes size and shape when forces are applied.

A metal is a material that is typically hard, opaque, shiny, and has good electrical and thermal conductivity.


When forces are removed, the lattice goes back to the original lower energy state.

In physics, energy is a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms.


For rubbers and other polymers, elasticity is caused by the stretching of polymer chains when forces are applied.

Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, as initially produced, consists of polymers of the organic compound isoprene, with minor impurities of other organic compounds plus water.


Perfect elasticity is an approximation of the real world, and few materials remain purely elastic even after very small deformations.


In engineering, the amount of elasticity of a material is determined by two types of material parameter.


The first type of material parameter is called a modulus, which measures the amount of force per unit area needed to achieve a given amount of deformation.

Area is the quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional figure or shape, or planar lamina, in the plane.


The units of modulus are pascals or pounds of force per square inch.


A higher modulus typically indicates that the material is harder to deform.


The second type of parameter measures the elastic limit.


The limit can be a stress beyond which the material no longer behaves elastic and deformation of the material will take place.


If the stress is released, the material will elastically return to a permanent deformed shape instead of the original shape.


When describing the relative elasticities of two materials, both the modulus and the elastic limit have to be considered.


Rubbers typically have a low modulus and tend to stretch a lot and so appear more elastic than metals in everyday experience.


Of two rubber materials with the same elastic limit, the one with a lower modulus will appear to be more elastic.

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