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Homework Help: Catching an egg

  1. Oct 21, 2007 #1
    Two students hold an open bed sheet loosely by its corners to form a "catching net." The instructor asks a third student to throw an egg into the middle of the sheet as hard as possible. Why doesn't the egg's shell break?

    does this have to do with momentum? inertia? newtons laws?

    so far my answer is: The eggs shell does not break because the egg slowly decelerates. what else can i add
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2007 #2
    right, what exactly makes the egg slowly decelerate?
    you know what happens when the egg hits the floor or a hard surface, how can you describe the surface of the sheet? and what it does as the egg hits it.

    you can describe it through the average force of the collision. When the egg hits a hard surface the collision is short (less than .1s I think). But when it hits the sheet how long does it take for the collision to stop? a rough estimate should be enough to help describe why the egg shell doesn't break.
  4. Oct 21, 2007 #3
    how does this sound: The eggs shell does not break because of the rate of decelerates. When an egg hits a floor the egg comes to stop in a extremely short period of time. This creates a high average force on the egg. When a egg it the sheet it is taking a long time to come to rest and the average force applied to the shell is smaller.
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