Watch Pitch Tar Finally Drip in One of World’s Oldest, Slowest-Moving Experiments

Let’s take a lit­tle break from our fast-mov­ing world and watch one of the world’s old­est and slow­est-mov­ing exper­i­ments in action. Begun in Octo­ber 1944 at Trin­i­ty Col­lege Dublin’s School of Physics, the Tar Drop exper­i­ment has attempt­ed to mea­sure the vis­cos­i­ty of pitch tar, a poly­mer that seems sol­id at room tem­per­a­ture. The goal of the exper­i­ment? To demon­strate that pitch tar actu­al­ly flows and to cap­ture a drop falling from a fun­nel — some­thing that hap­pens about once a decade. Above, you can watch a time­lapse video of all the excit­ing action. It marks the first time a pitch drop has ever been cap­tured on film.

It’s worth not­ing that the The Uni­ver­si­ty of Queens­land has its own Pitch Drop Exper­i­ment going. It start­ed back in 1927. And it’s cur­rent­ly list­ed in the Guin­ness Book of World Records as the world’s longest-run­ning lab­o­ra­to­ry exper­i­ment.

In the seg­ment below, Radi­o­lab offers a primer on the famous exper­i­ment.

via CNET

by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.