An experiment that has been undergoing observations for the last 69 years has finally concluded. What’s the result? Read on to find out!
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Scientists have long concluded that tar is actually a fluid, which—at room temperature—seems like a solid. To prove this, scholars from the Trinity College Dublin set up a pitch-drop experiment to demonstrate high viscosity or low fluidity of pitch using bitumen as the fluid in 1944. After 69 agonizing years, some of which went on unobserved, the experiment has yield a single drop and putting smiles on the faces of scientists worldwide.
As luck would have it, the experiment was actually sitting on a shelf collecting dust until physicists from the college decided to start recording the experiment using a webcam last April.
Trinity College physicists estimate that viscosity of the pitch is 2 million times more viscous than honey, and 20 billion times more than that of water. A single drop of liquid doesn’t sound that exciting, but if you waited 69 years to see it drop, it’s probably one of the most satisfying drop you’ll ever see.
“Curiosity is at the heart of good science, and the pitch drop fuels that curiosity,” said one of the Trinity College physicists.
Experiments like these give a whole new meaning to the coining cliché: “Just another drop in the bucket.”