Cassie, Damon, and Patrick's Physics Page

Group Ivana phyisicsala 

















 Cassie Downs, Damon Johnson, Patrick Lewis

Mr. O’Neill

Physics, Period 2

7 January 2008



The purpose of our project is to dye an egg.  The scenario that we are trying to portray through this complex apparatus of energy is dying an egg at Easter time; through the machine we are placing the egg in the dyed water.  With this simple machine the inconvenience of attending the egg is minimized. 

Description of Model:

We begin the journey to the dyed water by A. lighting a piece of string on fire (thermal energy) which B. releases the pendulum (potential energy).  Then, C. the pendulum swings and hits the dominos (kinetic energy) which travel up a block of wood.  D. The domino hits the hot wheel car (potential) and E. travels down a track, where it F. hits a piece of wood (kinetic). G. the wood falls on a teeter totter (kinetic) which H. pushes the egg down the track (kinetic) and J. lands into a bowl of water with dye in it. 

Theoretical Background:

We will calculate the potential and kinetic energy by using KE=1/2mvsquared and PE=mgh.      Also, the energy will be found by finding the various masses of the different energy devices on our system.  The energy transformations were previously stated in the description of the model.


Data Section:

Added fire for another energy source

We did this by connecting a string to the pendulum and then we will light the string on fire to release the pendulum.

Added a ramp for more force of the dominoes

In order to increase the force when the dominoes hit the hot wheel car, we made a ramp and placed the dominoes traveling up hill rather than on a flat surface to increase the energy force. 

Added hot wheel car for more force

By adding the hot wheel car we elongated the simple machine to create more force to insure the egg made it to the water.

used a teeter totter rather than a scale

By using a teeter totter we made our design simpler because we were not going to be able to create or purchase the type of scale that we needed.  This changed our design slightly because instead of the egg being pushed onto the track, the egg now begins on the track and is simply pushed to accelerate.

Used a hard boiled egg rather than a bouncy ball

By switching from a hard boiled egg to a bouncy ball we were able to create a purpose to our experiment.  The change was simple and the eggs purpose followed soon after. 

Dyed egg verses boiled an egg

By dying an egg rather than boiling one we simplified our machine because the task to turn the boiler on would have been very complicated.  This change caused us to use a bowl of dyed water rather than a bowl of boiling water.


Discussion of Results:

If it all goes according to plan, the string will break and the pendulum will be set off and strike the domino causing the dominoes to tip one another, at the top of the path the domino will hit car starting it down the ramp, launch and strike the piece of wood with enough force to tip it onto the teeter totter.  The teeter totter will hit the track with the egg and make it move and drop into the dye without breaking the egg.  Complications that may occur are that the pendulum strikes more than 1 domino or misses the dominoes all together.  Also, the piece of wood strikes the teeter totter wrong and it does not hit the second ramp with the egg on it to allow the egg to accelerate down the track.  If the pendulum never strikes the domino there will be a loss of energy and our experiment will not work.  Also, if the wood strikes the teeter totter wrong there could be a decrease or loss of energy.  The track has about a 70% success rate and the causes to this are those that were explained above.  


The challenges our group faced were going from a very complex design to the end result.  Looking back at our original design, a lot has changed.  We did not even have a purpose in our first design and the tools we used in it were impossible to buy or make.  We also had problems with our accuracy and getting things to hit others will the right force and accuracy.  When we finally got together over break, everything started coming together and we were very successful in producing a model similar to our final design.  The building of the stairs which the dominos are placed on went off better than everyone expected it to, and the ability for the egg to roll down the flimsy hot wheels track actually worked.  The things we liked about this project were that we got to design and build our own experiment and there were not distinct guidelines to follow which caused us to have to think on our own.  It also made us use the concepts we were learning in class and apply them to a real life situation.  Suggestions for future students would be to let them video tape their simple machine rather than bring the whole structure to class.  This is because some of them may be too big or the class room environment would not satisfy the set up of their design.  Also, that many machines may not all fit very well in the small classroom.  Another suggestion is to provide a little more guidance in the calculations and ways to measure the energy in the machines.  This experiment caused us to have to work together as a team and to not just put the work in the hands of one person because of the complexity of the project.  Building a simple machine forced us to apply the different types of energy to a real life situation rather than simulations; this allowed for a better all around understanding of the concepts that we learned in class.  It was an adventure building the simple machine because it allowed us to work hands on and when something didn’t work we were able to try a variety of things to see which worked the best and contributed most to the end result.