# How can the force of impact be reduced in an egg toss game?

Thib
Homework Statement:
So I am trying to answer a question which is about an egg toss game where two people try to throw an egg at each other without breaking it.The question is how can the force of impact be reduced?
Relevant Equations:
F = Δp / Δt
So I am trying to answer a question which is about an egg toss game where two people try to throw an egg at each other without breaking it.The question is how can the force of impact be reduced so that the egg doesn't break. With respect to the F = Δ p / Δ t formula, I think increasing time of contact will mean less force. Is that correct?
Thank you

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Homework Statement: So I am trying to answer a question which is about an egg toss game where two people try to throw an egg at each other without breaking it.The question is how can the force of impact be reduced?
Homework Equations: F = Δp / Δt

So I am trying to answer a question which is about an egg toss game where two people try to throw an egg at each other without breaking it.The question is how can the force of impact be reduced so that the egg doesn't break. With respect to the F = Δ p / Δ t formula, I think increasing time of contact will mean less force. Is that correct?
Thank you
Are you looking for practical suggestions?

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By the way; Thib
Are you looking for practical suggestions?
I am wondering how I can reduce force of impact

Thib
By the way; Thanks

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I am wondering how I can reduce force of impact
Yes, I understand that. It depends on the parameters. For example:

My first suggestion is that the two people stand close to each other so they don't have to throw the egg very fast!

Is that the sort of thing you are looking for?

Or, is the distance between the throwers fixed in this game?

Thib
Yes, I understand that. It depends on the parameters. For example:

My first suggestion is that the two people stand close to each other so they don't have to throw the egg very fast!

Is that the sort of thing you are looking for?

Or, is the distance between the throwers fixed in this game?
I believe the assumption is that we can neglect the distance. Specifically, the question is asking to use understanding of momentum and impulse to suggest a way to avoid breaking the egg when catching it

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I believe the assumption is that we can neglect the distance. Specifically, the question is asking to use understanding of momentum and impulse to suggest a way to avoid breaking the egg when catching it

Btw my suggestion was based on an understanding of momentum and impulse - and the parabolic motion of projectiles. Which gives me another idea ...

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increasing time of contact will mean less force
Yes, that will certainly reduce the average force. Can you refine that a bit?
What would be the best trajectory?

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When I was in grad school, decades ago, we had a egg tossing contest among grad departments. The winning team was the one that tossed the egg the farthest without breaking it. Needless to say, the physics team won hands down by more than 30 ft. from second place. The trick is to catch the ball high above your head and brake its fall by following through along its trajectory, stopping it around your feet. This increases the braking time interval Δt which reduces the time-averaged braking force. I participated only as a spectator, but my roommate was the receiver and I know that he and the tosser practiced with a tennis ball before the contest.

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reduces the time-averaged braking force
True, but as I hinted, the average force is not the critical aspect.

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... he and the tosser practiced with a tennis ball before the contest.
To maximize results - at the expense of cleanliness - one wonders why they didn't practice with ... eggs.

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True, but as I hinted, the average force is not the critical aspect.
Yes, but if Δp (assumed fixed) is spread over a longer time interval would that not mean that the instantaneous force dp/dt will be reduced (hopefully) below the breaking force for any time within the interval? Doesn't reducing the time-averaged force imply reducing the instantaneous force at all times during contact?

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To maximize results - at the expense of cleanliness - one wonders why they didn't practice with ... eggs.
It's not about cleanliness. Graduate students would rather eat eggs than use them for practice. • collinsmark
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Yes, but if Δp (assumed fixed) is spread over a longer time interval would that not mean that the instantaneous force dp/dt will be reduced (hopefully) below the breaking force for any time within the interval? Doesn't reducing the time-averaged force imply reducing the instantaneous force at all times during contact?
I don't see how that follows.

1N over 99ms followed by 99N over 1ms is an average of a mere 1.0N per ms.
But 99N - even for only 1ms - will still break the egg.

(I am terrible at force math, and I think I may have neglected a piece of your scenario. See caveat in sig line *.)

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1N over 99ms followed by 99N over 1ms is an average of a mere 1.0N per ms.
The average would be 1.98N. (Not N/ms, which is not a dimension I've ever come across.)

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I don't see how that follows.

1N over 99ms followed by 99N over 1ms is an average of a mere 1.0N per ms.
But 99N - even for only 1ms - will still break the egg.

(I am terrible at force math, and I think I may have neglected a piece of your scenario. See caveat in sig line *.)
The figure shows schematically what I mean. Collision forces in nature usually start from zero, reach a maximum and then go back to zero. Your example is that of a force that is constant for most o the duration then spikes to a large value. If you spread out the collision duration, you bring down the peak force. If the peak force is below the threshold breaking force of the shell, the egg does not break. 