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Egg Drop Experiment

  1. Dec 21, 2006 #1
    Yo guys, I need some help with this classical physics experiment.

    We can only use 1 piece 8" x 11" (computer paper) and 30 cm of masking tape. The goal is to get it not to break from 3m or higher.

    If anyone can help with any good strategies, thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2006 #2
    U can make a parachute out of the paper. Sounds silly but it works
  4. Dec 21, 2006 #3
    Yeah, I tried that but it didn't go much higher than 1.5 meters...

    Any other suggestions?
  5. Dec 21, 2006 #4
    Unless ur allowed drop it onto the paper, no. In that case u could make a slide.

    Id say work on ur parachute design. Did u make a hole in the top?
  6. Dec 21, 2006 #5
    put the egg on the paper and roll the paper with the egg in the middle to a cylinder shape... drop it so that the circular end fall towards the ground... I don't know if it will work; it's just a thought.
  7. Dec 21, 2006 #6
    I like that last idea :) you'd have to tape the egg in the centre of course and enough to stop the egg detaching on impact (if i get your idea correctly).

    Parachute seems like the best bet though :P

    Roll the paper up tightly (you'll have to experiment with the density) and use the tube as a spring, attach tape to both ends and bend it like a sling. Drop the egg onto the tape so that the paper spring takes the energy of impact.

    (| <--- o(egg) or |) <--- 0(egg)
  8. Dec 22, 2006 #7
    Ya, thats really good. If it was slightly conical it would definitely stop the egg from slipping down on impact. The paper in a conical shape wouldnt b quite as strong as cylindrical though
  9. Dec 26, 2006 #8
    Find a way to lower the terminal velocity of the egg the most.
  10. Dec 26, 2006 #9
    Ultimately you need to minimize the impulse delivered to the egg, so figure out a way to draw out the impact time or lower the momentum (either by parachute or some other means to help cancel the force of gravity). Also, eggs are only fragile when unequal force is applied to them. If you squeeze an egg in the palm of your hand, such that you squeeze evenly, the egg will not break. You might be able to use this to your advantage.
  11. Dec 27, 2006 #10
    I thought that only worked if you squeezed along the longest axis! (As in picture this dude :surprised keeping his mouth open. If he's an egg and you want to squeeze him without breaking him, you have to squeeze along the line that connects his chin to highest hair.) I only tried the egg-squeeze once; I misdirected my force after about half a minute so I ended up with a handful of broken egg. I don't think my mother wants me to continue experiments along these lines. Then again, if I held it over a bowl and made scrambled eggs when I was finished...
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2006
  12. Dec 27, 2006 #11
    The semi-major axis is the strongest, but I've also done it with the semi-minor axis with success.
  13. Dec 27, 2006 #12


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    A rumpled paper can act like a cushion. Rumple your paper and tape the egg to it, keeping the stronger point down.
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