Egg Drop Speed
what would happen to a hard boiled egg if it was
dropped from the empire state building. how fast would it be going when it hit, and
what would happen to the egg its self. would it crack, vaporize?
The egg would surely crack. It will not vaporize. As for its velocity,
please refer to the answers to another related question posed on this site
a few months ago (check under terminal velocity). Basically, after a
short distance, the drag force (air resistance) and gravity force (pull of
the earth) balance each other and the egg will travel at a constant
velocity which is known as terminal velocity.
Dr. Ali Khounsary
Advanced Photon Source
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439
I don't know how tall the Empire State building is. If you know, you can plug
the height into the following equation and get the answer for yourself.
First, let's see how long it will take the egg to fall that distance.
t = sqrt((2 * x) / a)
't' is the time in seconds it tales the egg to fall.
'a' = 9.8 meters per second per second is the acceleration of gravity, and
'x' is the height in meters
Then, v = a * t is the speed in meters per second when the egg has fallen the
distance 'x'. (This formula doesn't work for heights so large that the
acceleration of gravity changes as the object falls.)
The egg will crack and flatten itself against the pavement. It will
become very wide and thin; pieces will fly around for a while. The egg
will not vaporize.
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012