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The egg drop challenge is not mostly a "shock absorption" exercise; the springiness of the padding around the egg is the determining factor.

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Introduction

Egg Drop Contest Materials List 2 small foam cups 2500 square centimeters of plastic bubble wrap 25 paper tissues 12 cm3 cardboard box Abstract of Physical Principals The egg drop challenge is not mostly a "shock absorption" exercise; the "springiness" of the padding around the egg is the determining factor. A bus without springs is near impossible to drive, while one without shocks feels almost normal until moments when the shocks are needed. What will break the egg is to have a force on the egg greater than the shell can withstand. ...read more.

Middle

If your "padding" is too soft, it will work well until the padding has compressed, and then the egg will experience a large g-force and break. If your padding is too hard, then the egg will break while the padding is being compressed. What is desired is padding that will compress at a rate that gives the egg the longest time to stop. We believe that the best solution is to have increasingly soft padding surrounding the egg in multiple (in our case, 3) ...read more.

Conclusion

This point is easily demonstrated by the fact that it is very difficult to break an egg in your hand when you apply the forces on the top and bottom of the egg, while it is much easier to break the egg by compressing it's sides. The final point we will make is that the larger your package, the further the egg travels during its stop, thus decreasing the impulse that the egg experiences, so we have done our best to ensure that the container for our egg is as close to 12 cm3 as possible. ...read more.

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