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# Physics/Egg drop

Question
I have worked on this for a week any ideas would help.
Egg holder that will protect large egg from 1st story then 2nd story
No more than 2 lbs
6 inch max in all directions
May not contain wings or parachute
Must drop straight down
Plastic bubble wrap and or other store bought packaging materials are not permitted
No splatterables such as jello peanut butter or liquids
Must be built for easy placement and removal you have 10 seconds to place egg before drop. 10  seconds to remove after
Must withstand multiple drops with only minor repairs

Thank you for any ideas

Hello Teri,

I never did one of these when I was in school. Now I'm surprised to see how many variations on the rules there are. The initial potential energy will have been converted to kinetic energy at the contact point. That energy would splat the egg if it fell without protection. In general, the idea is to have a way to absorb a large portion of the energy through crumpling of the container. That way there will be little energy left to crumple the egg. Another point to consider is that the egg shell does have some strength. You can take advantage of that if you nest the egg in a space that fits it well.

Egg drop projects have been discussed extensively at allexperts. Use this web address to see what has been said about egg drop projects before:
http://en.allexperts.com/sitesearch.htm?terms=egg+drop&cnl=Physics-1358&sdn=en
Perhaps none of the discussions will exactly fit your rules. But you can pick and choose strategies that could work for you. Some of what you find there are my previous replies to similar questions. As an example, look for my reply to Kyle.

But I need to throw in my own idea for your set of rules too. The 6 inch maximum is a challenge. A sphere with 6 inch diameter would give you more room to work with than other shapes. I suggest that you look at a craft store for a 6 inch Styrofoam ball. If you can get one (or one nearly as large), and if you could cut it in half, then I picture making an egg-shaped pocket in the center of your sphere. As I said above, the egg shell does have surprising strength providing that forces on the egg are distributed over the surface so there is no spot that has a concentration of force. Shaping that pocket will be hard to make perfect, so I suggest making it oversize and lining it using pieces from a thin sheet of foam rubber or quilt batting. Can you have the egg you will be dropping ahead of time? (Not all 'large' eggs are the same size and you do not want the egg to be squeezed when you put the halves together or for the egg to have room to move about in your pocket.) How can you secure the 2 halves together in the 10 seconds allowed? That might be hard. Consider wrapping each half with tape so that then you need just add tape to hold the 2 pieces together in your 10 seconds. In that case, perhaps you should look for a 5 inch ball.

Whatever method you decide on: test, improve, test, improve, test, improve until it works.

I hope this helps,
Steve

Physics

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#### 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.

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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