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An Egg’s Final Destination

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An Egg’s Final Destination

The egg drop has been a classic physics experiment for students. But have you ever wondered how it sets an example for physics? For a raw egg to land safely from a fair height, one must be cautious to create a strong structure. This includes knowing momentum, mass, velocity, and Newton’s Law of motion and air resistance.

Mass is the measure of the amount of substance in an object. Consequently, mass is contained in both the egg and the structure. The mass plays a key role in building the structure. It must have a low mass. For the egg itself will already have a sufficient mass, but adding the structure will cause an increase in weight (a measure of the amount of substance in a body) when both masses are combined.Therefore, it is important for the structure to have a modicum mass.

Velocity is distance divided by time, plus the direction. Resulting with the rate in which an object travels plus the direction. If the egg’s velocity is too high, its momentum will increase, causing the egg to have a harsh landing, possibly resulting into damage. Momentum is a feature of a moving object referring to the mass and velocity of an object; P=(mass*velocity) kg*m/s + direction.

Isaac Newton was a scientist who developed laws, Newton’s Laws of Motion, that explain rest, constant motion, accelerated motion, and delineate how balanced and unbalanced forces act to cause these states of motion. His third law states that: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This applies with air resistance; a fluid friction opposing the motion of an object traveling through a fluid. For the gravity pushes the egg down, but the reaction of air resistance opposes the direction; pushing up.

Hypothesis: If the mass of the device is around 0.08 kg, then it will protect, and keep the raw egg intact.

Materials:

  • 2 straws
  • 18 popsicle sticks
  • 10 cotton balls
  • 1 meter of fluffy yarn
  • 1 Low-temp glue gun
  • 2 large rubber bands
  • 2 5oz Dixie cups

Procedure:

  1. Charge the hot glue gun so it’s ready
  2. Take 2 popsicle sticks and glue the points together, so the shape forms an: X
  3. Then, take two more popsicle steps and put one on each side, like two parallel lines: I I
  4. Next, put them together to form a shape somewhat: IXI
  5. Continue Step 2-4 until 16 popsicle sticks are used; 2 remain
  6. Cut 2 straws into 4 even pieces each
  7. Cut 2 popsicle sticks into 2 even pieces each
  8. Use your hot glue to put three of your previous popsicle stick shapes, IXI (from Steps 2-4), together. This shall be the bottoms and sides of the boxed structure
  9. Connect an edge using 4 pieces of a straw (made in step 6) to form a square
  10. Place the half cut popsicles (made in step 7) over the straw to cover it, forming an X.
  11. Repeat steps 9-10 for the other edge of the box
  12. Finally place 5 cotton balls inside a Dixie cup, and then place the egg
  13. Fill the other Dixie cup with 5 cotton balls, and place it above to cover the egg
  14. Fill in the box with the fluffy yarn (recommended to place from bottom to top
  15. Place the last popsicle stick shape, IXI (made in steps 2-4), on top of the boxed structure.
  16. Use 2 rubber bands to tie it with the sides.
Team Mass of Device Mass of Device and Egg Time in seconds Speed Velocity Acceleration Momentum Did it survive?
My Team 0.0797 kg 0.08214 kg 1.42 s 2.81 m/s 2.81 m/s down 1.97 m/s/s 0.2308 kg*m/s No
Team A 0.0657 kg 0.1168 kg 0.79 s 5.06 m/s 5.06 m/s down 6.40 m/s/s 0.591 kg*m/s No
Team B 0.0586 kg 0.1104 kg 2.54 s 1.57 m/s 1.57 m/s down 0.61 m/s/s 0.173 kg*m/s No
Team C 0.0772 kg 0.0129  kg 1.04 s 3.84 m/s 3.84 m/s down 3.6 m/s/s 0.134 kg*m/s Yes

If the mass of the device is around 0.08 kg, then it will protect, and keep the raw egg intact”. My hypothesis turned out to be untrue. The mass of my device was about 0.0797 kg, and yet it failed to protect and keep the raw egg intact. Although, in my data there is someone with a mass of 0.0586 and yet there egg also cracked. And someone else whose egg survived had a mass of 0.0772. This made me think.

The other person had 0.0657, yet there egg didn’t survive. Therefore, must the mass be somewhat 0.0770 kg? Most of their numbers was also low compared to the other people’s data.They were more of a balance and a compromise of those whose eggs didn’t survive. Therefore, I believe my data rejects my hypothesis, for it does not support my theory of about 0.0800 kg, but rather around 0.0770 kg.

I feel like my data is valid and correct, for measures were taken with great care and effort. Well, one action that may have affected somehow, was the position of the yarn. Originally, the yarn was supposed to be placed on the bottom of the boxed structure, and make its way to the top, wrapping around the egg. Yet with the two minute getting ready pressure, it was put differently. Instead of bottom to top, it was placed mostly on the top. This could’ve cause some extra weight above the egg. Therefore, if I could redo the experiment, I would probably have changed the position of the yarn.

Consequently, the egg might have a softer landing. In addition, the device came out a bit crooked/slanted. This may have caused the device to turn a bit over, and change its position while falling. Therefore, that would be another part I’d improve.

From this experiment, I began to question if whether a longer. or smaller surface area works better. Could this have improved the speed and momentum of the egg? Would a larger surface area, and small height reduce the harshness of the egg’s landing? With this experiment, I have fully understood the formulas to calculate speed, velocity, acceleration, and momentum. I have learned how important they are to the world of physics, and how they connect to real life problems.

 

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