Nov 12, 2014

Like Watching Pitch Drop

In our Speed show, we met Professor John Mainstone, custodian of the Pitch Drop Experiment at the University of Queensland. Sadly, he died before ever getting to see his experiment's results -- he never caught a drop dripping. But earlier this year, the University of Queensland finally captured the big moment on camera.

Here's a timelapse of the previous drop (the ninth drop -- the one Professor Mainstone was hoping to catch) colliding with the other drops in the bottom of the beaker. It's not exactly the most spectacular finale... it's more of a gentle lean than a grand drop... but, there it is:

While this counts as the drop (and anyone logged into the live feed at that time had their name recorded as a witness to the big event), the University of Queensland admits: "the stealthy collision is the latest trick by this evasive lump of tar."

You can keep tabs on the evasive lump yourself -- the tenth drop is estimated to fall in the next 14 years or so -- here on the live feed:

If you're still here, take a few more seconds to watch this -- a much more satisfying plunge, and the first pitch drop caught on camera, recorded at Trinity College Dublin in July, 2013*:

Though Professor Mainstone missed seeing the pitch drop in his own experiment, he WAS able to watch video from the Dublin drop, which he found "tantalizing." No argument here.

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