My central focus while I was making my egg drop container was to build something sturdy enough to hold and support a large egg so when it is dropped from a two story building, it survives the fall without cracking. The design of my container incorporated physics principles such as Newton’s 3rd Law, laws of impulse, momentum, and air resistance.
The main item used to contain my egg is a tall, plastic, cylindrical container filled with cotton balls. I chose cotton balls to surround the egg to keep it held in place but in an airy, soft way. The protection from the cotton balls provided more time for the egg to come to a complete stop causing the overall force on the egg to be less. This is called impulse. I placed my container into a Tostito’s bag filled with cotton balls and grocery bags.
Another physics concept incorporated into the construction of my container is air resistance. Air resistance is a form of friction that is produced when air oppositely hinders an object’s movement. My Tostito’s bag is larger than just the plastic container, which gives the overall container more surface area to increase air resistance. In addition to the larger surface area, I included a parachute with my bag. The parachute catches the air from beneath and slows down the speed of the container.
A physics concept I incorporated into my project was momentum. I had to make sure my container had enough momentum to keep it on a straight path but not too much so to avoid breaking the egg. To prevent the container containing the egg from straying from a straight path downward, I taped duct tape to the bottom of the bag. This one weighted point on my container will allow the object to drop with little to no rotation. If there was less momentum, the container could be led astray due to outside forces that push it from its straight path downward (e.g. such as wind).
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To prevent my egg from breaking, I needed to make sure that the momentum of my container as it hits the ground is as small as possible. In order to decrease the momentum, the mass of the container needed to be fairly small. To make sure the mass of my container is as small as possible, I made sure to fill the Tostitos bag with light materials such as cotton balls and plastic grocery bags.
The last principal of physics that I ushered into the creation of my project was Newton’s 3rd law of motion. Newton’s 3rd law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The amount of force from the ground onto my container will be the same amount of force exerted on the egg. Force is the product of mass times acceleration. In order to reduce that force, I constructed my container to be lightweight and not massive.