Apparently, if one throws a raw egg at a bed sheet at full speed, the egg will not break. I never believed this could be true, but now, looking at the Physics of it, I understand how it can work.
In order to understand the stunt, we will look back at equations from earlier in the semester:
Force = mass*acceleration
acceleration = velocity/time
Because the bed sheet provides such a large “cushion” for the raw egg’s collision, it drastically increases the time of the collision. When the time is increased, the acceleration is decreased, and thus the force on the egg is decreased.
1. A Major League Baseball pitcher throws the egg at a speed of 95 miles per hour towards the sheet. Thus, the maximum velocity that the egg can be thrown at the sheet is 42.5 m/s.
2. The egg weighs 60 grams, or 0.06 kilograms.
3. The collision time (of the raw egg with bed sheet) is 0.75 seconds.
F = ma
F = m(v/t)
F = 0.06 kg(42.5m/s / 0.75s)
F = 3.4 N
Thus, the force on the egg from the bed sheet is only 3.4 N, which is clearly not enough to break the egg. After doing some research, I have discovered that it takes 25 N to actually crack an egg, so you really are safe when throwing a raw egg at a bed sheet.
Here's a fun clip to demonstrate this, and to relate it to impulse: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RSUjxiZnME