Is kinetic energy conserved in an inelastic collision?
A collision between two objects must either be elastic or inelastic. In an elastic collision, both the momentum and the kinetic energy of the system are conserved. On the other hand, in an inelastic collision, momentum is conserved but kinetic energy is not. The two objects stick together and some kinetic energy may be converted to potential energy as the objects change height or shape after the collision. In the case of the ballistic pendulum, the collision is inelastic because the bullet is embedded in the block.