The Pitch Drop experiment

pitchdrop
The University of Queensland:

The first Professor of Physics at the University of Queensland, Professor Thomas Parnell, began an experiment in 1927 to illustrate that everyday materials can exhibit quite surprising properties. The experiment demonstrates the fluidity and high viscosity of pitch, a derivative of tar once used for waterproofing boats. At room temperature pitch feels solid – even brittle – and can easily be shattered with a blow from a hammer. It’s quite amazing then, to see that pitch at room temperature is actually fluid!

You’ve heard the term “slower than molasses”? Apparently, pitch is even slower. (thanks to @JennS79 for the link)



  • DanPierce

    At my workplace, the opticians use pitch when polishing optics. Once they have the right shape, they like to work on as many parts as possible. If their pitch is allowed to sit for a few days, they have to start all over again.