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Question
I am working on an egg drop project for my high school physics class. I will be dropping three eggs from the top of our football stadium (14 meters tall). The container can only be made out of recyclable metal, including wire and aluminum tape, and it has to weigh less than one kilogram. Do you have any advice as to how I can protect these eggs?
Thanks!

Answer
Well that's very restrictive.  Essentially you need a crush zone.  If you don't want your crush zone to be spherical, you need something to keep the crush zone in front of the egg.  I'd suggest soda cans spiral-cut into springs, something form-fitting to cup the shell, and a parachute made of aluminum foil to both slow it and keep it upright.  You do need something in case it topples over, too, or to have it land on a large base and hope it doesn't tip over.

Good luck!

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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