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Anticipating an observation from the world’s oldest (and slowest) science experiment [video]

pitch_drop

And you thought your work day was set to be a slow one…

Way back in 1927, an Australian scientist decided to study the viscosity of pitch, thought to be the world’s stickiest substance, by pouring some of the melted substance into a funnel and waiting.

And waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

In the 83 years since the stem of the funnel was first cut, it’s only produced eight drops — all while the observers’ backs were turned — so excitement is high that the much-anticipated ninth drop will be caught on camera.

Professor John Mainstone, who has been in charge of the experiment since the 1960s, noted that,

“This time we have got several cameras trained on the pitch sample to make sure we get a sight of it dropping. It will take only about a tenth of a second, however. On the other hand, I am 78, and the next drop is unlikely to fall for at least another 10 years, so this might be my last chance to see it happen.”

Talk about a guy who needs a nap. Makes that four-hour strategic planning meeting look pretty enticing, though, eh?

Just kidding.

Full story at The Guardian.

Science at a snail’s pace.

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