# How to drop an egg in a box without it breaking? I'm given a box with the dimension of 15x15x15cm and i'm allowed to use only 4 materials to avoid my egg from breaking. The box will then be dropped at the fourth floor of a building.

## Expert Answers

Well, whatever you do, the point is to realize the forces involved and try to minimize the impact that would normally crush the egg into oblivion.  Poor egg!

It depends on the materials you have to use.  You want to secure the egg inside the box somehow to keep it...

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Well, whatever you do, the point is to realize the forces involved and try to minimize the impact that would normally crush the egg into oblivion.  Poor egg!

It depends on the materials you have to use.  You want to secure the egg inside the box somehow to keep it from rolling around.  You also want to cushion the egg as much as possible to absorb some of the shock that occurs on collision with the ground.  If you have something to build a parachute with, to slow the rapid descent that occurs as the force of gravity pulls the box to the Earth, that would help as well.

I did this experiment this past summer at a college workshop.  Our design was to take a piece of poster paper, roll it from corner to corner to make a cone shape, with a point extending to a larger circular base.  Inside the cone, we inflated a small balloon and pushed it into the "nose" of the cone.  Next we had a small plastic dispensable drinking cup, which we lined with felt.  Next, we put our egg into the felt-lined cup, and used scotch tape to secure the egg in the cup.  We placed the cup on top of the balloon, then inserted a larger balloon, then closed the flaps of the broader side of the cone, taped it with scotch tape to keep it closed.  Then we constructed a parachute out of a plastic grocery bag, connected with plastic drinking straws and tape.  Ours survived a four story fall several times.

Good luck with your design!

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It’s really very simple, the clue is to spread all the force during the retardation phase (landing) on the COMPLETE surface of the egg. In this way, the resulting (vector) forces will be zero. In other words: The forces will “become a pressure” instead. And, since the egg may be compared to a pressure vessel (the surface is curved and can thus take really a lot of pressure before breaking) the egg will not break if you put it in strong bottle filled with water before dropping it!

This is the classical solution to the problem. I have never worked it out myself but it should work as long as the bottle itself is strong enough (do a test by dropping the bottle filled with just water before doing the test in front of an audience).

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