Last year, a group of Japanese researchers caused a stir online with the publication of their “dark flies” paper, about a colony of Drosophila melanogaster that had been maintained in continuous darkness for fifty-seven years.
Well, they’ve got nothing on Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics, who have been continuously running a tar drop experiment for the last 69 years.
Essentially, the experiment is meant to understand the viscosity of tar, or “pitch”, a material that flows incredibly slowly. In 1944, a funnel was packed with tar and drops have fallen at the rate of about one per decade. But until now, no one had ever witnessed a drop falling.
On July 11th, a drop dripped and was captured via time lapse filming. Tracking the evolution of the drip, the viscosity of the pitch to be 2×107 Pascal seconds – approximately 2 million times the viscosity of honey.
I imagine that congratulations are in order for what I assume must be a graduate student in his mid-90’s who will now be allowed to graduate and move on to his postdoc.
4 Thoughts on "A 69 Year Old Experiment Continues to Yield Data"
The University I attend started their pitch drop 83 years ago ….. it doesn’t make their time lapse any more riveting (I joke of course) but confirms at least that world wide their are some scholars who have way too much time on their hands! http://www.smp.uq.edu.au/content/pitch-drop-experiment
Equally cool is the Oxford Electric Bell, which has been running continuously on dry pile batteries since 1840: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Electric_Bell
What we have here is something creationists will never understand. These are examples of the beauty of science.