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# Physics/Egg drop

Question
Hi!
I have to construct an egg drop contraption that will survive a two story drop only using a meter of tape and 5 peices of paper.
Ideas?

Hello Gia,

That seems like a major challenge. I've never tried any egg drops. I will just give you an idea of what I would try. My main thrust would be try something, adapt the design based on the results, test, adapt the design based on the results, test, adapt the design based on the results, test, etc. Using an egg in each test would use up a lot of eggs. Find something to take the place of an egg. Perhaps a golf ball -- if the ball would be a similar weight.

I will give you some ideas. But I also suggest that you use the search capability on the window at the top of the allExperts page. Enter [egg drop paper] in the search window. There have been many such questions submitted and you can benefit from the discussions even when the rules were different from your rules.

Considering the height of the drop, I think you need 2 goals.
1. You need to limit the speed the egg will gain. Fashion a parachute, using no more than 2 sheets of paper. Most of your tape should go here.

2. You will need to create a capsule to protect the egg. Hopefully you will have prevented high speed at touchdown. But it would certainly hit the ground hard enough to break an egg without protection. So you have to absorb most of the kinetic energy by allowing the capsule to be destroyed while absorbing the energy, without destroying the egg. Cars use the technique of managing crash energy in this way. The front of the car has crumple zones that devote the kinetic energy to doing work crumpling the sheet metal rather than crumpling the passengers.

So your goal in designing the capsule is to have a shape that can be distorted without the distortion getting too close to the egg. That's where your creativity and the series of tests and revisions is needed.

I hope this helps,
Steve

Physics

Volunteer

#### Steve Johnson

##### Expertise

I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.

##### Experience

I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

Education/Credentials
BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University