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The pitch drop experiment is a long-term experiment which measures the flow of a piece of pitch over many years. Pitch is the name for any of a number of highly viscous liquids which appear solid, most commonly bitumen. At room temperature, tar pitch flows at a very slow rate, taking several years to form a single drop.

The most famous version of the experiment was started in 1927 by Professor Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, to demonstrate to students that some substances that appear to be solid are in fact very-high-viscosity fluids. Parnell poured a heated sample of pitch into a sealed funnel and allowed it to settle for three years. In 1930, the seal at the neck of the funnel was cut, allowing the pitch to start flowing. Large droplets form and fall over the period of about a decade.

The eighth drop fell on 28 November 2000, allowing experimenters to calculate that the pitch has a viscosity approximately 230 billion (2.3×1011) times that of water. 

The ninth drop is expected to fall in 2013!!






1927     Experiment set up  
1930     The stem was cut  
December 1938     1st drop fell96–1078.0–8.9
February 1947     2nd drop fell998.3
April 1954     3rd drop fell867.2
May 1962     4th drop fell978.1
August 1970     5th drop fell998.3
April 1979     6th drop fell1048.7
July 1988     7th drop fell1119.3
28 November 2000     8th drop fell14812.3

Comentarios » Ir a formulario

Autor: Anónimo

I couldn´t imagine something more viscous!

Fecha: 18/04/2013 19:08.

Autor: Irene 6ºA

I couldn´t imagine something more viscous!

Fecha: 18/04/2013 19:09.

Autor: Estibaliz

It's weird, isn't it?

Fecha: 19/04/2013 10:21.

Autor: Irene 6ºA

Yes, it´s really weird

Fecha: 23/04/2013 20:07.

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