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Egg Drop Experiment ideas

  1. May 30, 2009 #1
    OKay, i have to do the egg drop for class and I can't think of any ideas. All my trys have failed and the parameters are killing me.
    It has to be:

    -made up of 100% biodegradable products. No plastics, metals, rubber, sponges, real sponges, not even biodegradable styrofoam. Basically I can only use paper, food, glue, wood, plants(like cotton), tape, and string.

    -No Parachutes(this part sucks) Defined as any material attached to your eggcraft in such a way that it will expand outward as it falls, catching air. They can be attatched in a floppy way, just not in a concave shape to cause drag.

    -No larger than 20 inches in any direction

    -No tape or glue must touch the egg.

    Here are the grading parameters:
    Mass of eggcraft(grams)~Percent Grade








    I've exhausted my mind of choices and ideas and failures, any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2009 #2
    Start by thinking what would make a successful egg drop. The point is to construct something around the egg to lessen the force experience by the egg when the impact with the ground occurs. How can the force of an impact be lessened?

    One way to thing of it is momentum. The egg is falling and right before the ground has a known velocity (v=sqrt(2gh). After the impact the egg has a velocity of zero. This change in momentum means a force acted over some period of time. To reduce the force think of a way to extend the impact time of the egg with the ground.

    Another thing to do would be to think about energy. The ball is falling and gaining Kinetic Energy. Right before the ball hits the ground it has reached it's max KE. In order to stop the egg a force must do work on the egg. To reduce the force think of a way to extend the distance the force acts during the impact of the egg and ground (think front end of a car smashing in).

    So in summary think of someway to use your materials to extend the time the impact takes and/or the distance the total impact takes. Due to F=dp/dt & W=Fd (one dim constant force)
  4. Jun 1, 2009 #3


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    Also think about how modern cars are designed for safety. I'm not talking about seat belts or air bags, but what happens to the structure of the car during a crash.
  5. Jun 1, 2009 #4


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    Use cotton around the egg and put wood (ice cream sticks or something) for extra protection. Hope this helps??
  6. Jun 1, 2009 #5
    I have seen even economy students do that in two hours...

    What you need is to put the egg in a cone, and then make sure that the cone hits the floor with the edge pointing downwards(Preferably by having a large cone so that the egg gets really deep inside it with the rest of the cone keeping stability through the air pressure, so it needs to be large and thin). Make some cushion around it too but not too much, the cone shape will work as a great cushiner itself since it allows the egg to fall downwards inside it very far while putting up great resistance all of the way. The cushion around the egg is basically to protect it when the cone inevitable falls over, the cone itself will take the force from the first hit. Also note that this is a one time deal, after it have fallen it will be so knuckled that it wont serve as a good cushion again.

    And that was for a 15 meter drop, it is quite hard to make it but it is possible, not all cones will work but it is the best way unless you are allowed to use parachutes I promise you.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
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