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Egg drop lab


zlessard

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            The objective of this lab was basically to have the egg touch the paper without cracking. Our group went through many calculations and measurements in order to get a solution to this problem, and during this process we made a big mistake that went unnoticed until the application of our calculation failed miserably. We went through many measurements in order to find the spring constant of the 2 rubber bands put together. We found an experimental spring constant of many different masses hanging on the bands and then put these together on a graph in order to get an equation we could use to find the amount above the paper we needed to allow the egg to fall in order to just touch without cracking. The spring constant was found by integrating the equation given to us by the graph and plugging that value into the equation U=.5kx^2. This got us our final answer that we should give the egg 37 centimeters above the paper in order for this lab to be successful. (we decided to add a small amount to this because we realized that the punishment was greater for going 1 centimeter below, aka cracking the egg, rather than above the paper). This was where our group made a very foolish mistake. In a simple conversion, we multiplied by 1000 rather than 100. So truly through our calculations, our answer should have been about 3.7 rather than 37. When dropped based on that value of 37 cm, the egg didn’t even come close, and I quickly realized where our error came from. On a re-drop just to test if the answer we should have gone with in the actual application of the lab was accurate, the egg performed much more like how we expected to on its drop, with small human errors definitely impacting its overall performance. All in all, my group executed this lab pretty well aside from a major mistake in attention to detail. In this future we will definitely make it a point to check for any silly mistakes like that in order to avoid completely messing up a lab. Not to say our normal answer was completely perfect, but it performed much better than our original, flawed value did. Another error that I believe our group encountered, especially on the second drop, was not accounting for the weight of the tape added to secure the egg to the rubber band. This wasn’t necessarily substantial, but it was by no means negligible. Accounting for this weight wouldn’t have changed the major inaccuracy encountered on the first drop, which is why that is so much of the focus of this explanation. But on the second drop, it certainly would have helped get an even more accurate value.

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