The oblique impacts of nanoclusters are studied theoretically and by means of molecular dynamics. In simulations we explore two models-Lennard-Jones clusters and particles with covalently bonded atoms. In contrast with the case of macroscopic bodies, the standard definition of the normal restitution coefficient yields for this coefficient negative values for oblique collisions of nanoclusters. We explain this effect and propose a proper definition of the restitution coefficient which is always positive. We develop a theory of an oblique impact based on a continuum model of particles. A surprisingly good agreement between the macroscopic theory and simulations leads to the conclusion that macroscopic concepts of elasticity, bulk viscosity, and surface tension remain valid for nanoparticles of a few hundred atoms.
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