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Pitch-drop experiment or watching grass grow
Old 12-19-2012, 03:20 PM   #1
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Pitch-drop experiment or watching grass grow

Now I am sure this thread will drop quickly as this is some boring stuff--but I found it fascinating!

The Pitch Drop Experiment | School of Mathematics and Physics

and

Pitch drop experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First that someone could keep an experiment like that going for so long, but it always amazes me that the things we think of as solids are often not. As an Architect I like it too because it is so sciencey, yet it almost becomes artistic in it's oddness!

Well as I said, not sure anyone else will find it fascinating but I did! And the first link has a 24 hour camera so you can watch the drop fall...eventually! What a way to pass your retirement if you didn't save enough to do something fun!
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #2
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I read all 3 examples, I thought they were all very interesting; but I am a bit of science nerd
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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The class clown in me would love to sneak in there at night and apply some heat to make it drip faster.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post

The class clown in me would love to sneak in there at night and apply some heat to make it drip faster.
That's what Global Warming is for!

I also thought it was neat. Positive geek test.


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Old 12-19-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Very interesting, I never heard of this. Who would have thunk....
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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IIRC, glass is also a 'liquid' that given enough time (lots and lots), will slowly ooze.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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damn
I see I dropped a 't' and replaced it with an 'r' in the title That is my dropped letter experiment!

Also glad to see I am not the only geek around!
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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The class clown in me would love to sneak in there at night and apply some heat to make it drip faster.
+1

Yeah, let's make people scratch their head, wondering what the hell happened.

About old glass windows sagging due to glass viscosity, that claim has been refuted. See Is glass liquid or solid?.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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IIRC, glass is also a 'liquid' that given enough time (lots and lots), will slowly ooze.
This is a myth and is not true.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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This is a myth and is not true.
More of an amorphous solid, then?
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:26 AM   #11
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Just so others won't have to divert to the links if tey don't find this topic fascinating when they know a little more. From the Wikipedia link:

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."
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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This could actually be done as a pretty cool art piece. With some artfully done glass-work, the fact that it moves would be interesting.

Darn, too late to whip one up as a Christmas present!

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Old 12-20-2012, 09:22 PM   #13
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Until internet search came along and put me straight, I too thought glass flowed as seen in old window panes.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:37 PM   #14
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I recall learning about this "experiment" in an asphalt pavement design class in undergrad. Guess there has been another drop or two since we learned about it way back then.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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It DROPPED! Well the one in Trinity did anyways, but I don't think it is the same experiment as my OP. So maybe there is still time to watch the Queensland experiment!

I know all of you are as excited about this as me...right?? hello? Is this thing on?

The 3 Most Exciting Words in Science Right Now: 'The Pitch Dropped' - Megan Garber - The Atlantic
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