Exciting Times: A drop of pitch is about to fall

Pitch-drop-experimentI’ve written before about the pitch-drop experiment.

Eighty-six years ago, a professor started an experiment to show that pitch is an extremely viscous fluid, and that it actually does flow. So he melted some pitch into a funnel, let it cool (for three years), snipped the end of the funnel, put it in a sealed container, and waited for it to drip.

Eight years later, the first drop fell. And in the intervening 75 years, there have been seven more drips.

And the ninth one is now on it’s way!!!

There’s even a live cam. No one has actually seen one of the drops fall; so you could be the first!

Stay glued to your screen, it could drip any moment . . . or week . . . or month, now . .

Someday I still intend to have a pitch wine bottle (or perhaps a decanter) made for Peter van Inwangen (who has claimed that a liquid wine bottle is metaphysically impossible). Send me word if you know of someone who works with pitch, or some similarly viscous fluid.

By the way, I found this news by following a link to a really cool story about how cicada wings and lotus leaves are so water repellent that water condensing on them will literally leap off (using the energy of the water droplets balling together) carrying away any dirt or grime. Definitely worth a read. The world is amazing.

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2 responses to “Exciting Times: A drop of pitch is about to fall

  1. And a pitch drop falls!!! But it’s a younger sibling of the above experiment in Dublin: click here to see it.

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