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Homework Help: Egg Drop Activity

  1. Nov 2, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    1. Design and build an egg capsule within a volume of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm.
    2. There must be a lid opening to insert the egg.
    3.The capsule must be drop ready within 60 seconds or less after obtaining the egg from your instructor.
    4. Drop time is non-negotiable, be prepared.
    5. In the event of a tie, the lightest capsule will win.

    Also the instructor will drop capsules off the classroom floor (weʻre on the second floor).

    2. Relevant equations
    Impulse, Air friction, Forces...

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I had an idea where I would use a small plastic container (about 11.2cm x 5.6cm x 6.5cm or another one about 650.618 cm^3) then fill it with bubble wrap and cotton balls and maybe tape some more bubble wrap on the bottom side of the lid so that the egg has more cushion inside instead of a hard lid on top.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2014 #2


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    This sounds like a lot of fun. But what is your question to the helpers on this forum ?
  4. Nov 2, 2014 #3
    Oh shoot I forgot to ask if my idea could work or if anyone has any other ideas? Haha sorry about that.
  5. Nov 2, 2014 #4


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    Well, you could practice at home to see if it works out as expected :)

    I suppose this must be some physics class, otherwise you wouldn't post here (unless it's advanced packaging technology -- possible but less likely).

    So this poor container has to withstand a drop of, say, 4 m and somehow protect the egg from being cracked.
    The instructions don't mention repetition, so if the box self-sacrifices that's OK.

    Eggs are extremely strong: try to crush one by making a fist around it and squeezing equally hard from all around -- nearly impossible.
    Bit prick it with a scissor and you crack it effortlessly.

    So you want to dampen the forces at landing time. Several possibilities pop up in a brainstorm session: absorb by deformation, absorb by springiness, re-distribute (as in the squeezing item), ...

    Your cotton ball idea sounds a good combination of all three, right ? And it's also very light stuff.

    10x10x10 cm doesn't leave much room for a parachute, I'm afraid. Also the 4 m doesn't leave much time for unfolding and slowing the drop speeed, so that's probably not a winning idea :( But it's Always worth trying to think outside the box for something Original.

    Rule 5 makes it attractive to think of a block of foam rubber with a small (yet big enough) hole in it...
  6. Nov 2, 2014 #5
    Thanks for the feedback :) really helpful
  7. Nov 3, 2014 #6
    Update: it failed XD cracked
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