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For Nerds Only: The Longest and Most Boring Expeirment Ever

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by bertbaby, May 1, 2013.

  1. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    This is a link to the Pitch Drop Experiment which began in 1927. It was setup to prove that a brittle tar-like substance used to waterproof boats called pitch (bitumen) was in fact a liquid. The apparatus consists of pitch in a funnel that very slowly moves at the rate of one drop every 10 years. Riveting science that makes paint drying look dynamic yet it proves several keys points about science and the materials in everyday life. So exciting nobody has actually viewed a drop fall.

    By the way what other common every day solid exhibits liquid traits (questionable)?

    http://smp.uq.edu.au/content/pitch-drop-experiment

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    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  2. dnenb

    dnenb Registered Member

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    Haha:) I've heard that old glass windows are the same. After many years they'll sort of sink downwards.
     
  3. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    That's what I was led to believe too but it appears that the science on that has been discredited and in fact the thicker glass is part of the manufacturing process and was installed thicker end down by medieval artisans.
     
  4. dnenb

    dnenb Registered Member

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    Oh! Was it on mythbusters or something?
     
  5. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    No not on Mythbusters but it's actually a section in Wikipedia on the topic of antique glass:

    "The observation that old windows are sometimes found to be thicker at the bottom than at the top is often offered as supporting evidence for the view that glass flows over a timescale of centuries. The assumption being that the glass was once uniform, but has flowed to its new shape, which is a property of liquid. However, this assumption is incorrect; once solidified, glass does not flow anymore. The reason for the observation is that in the past, when panes of glass were commonly made by glassblowers, the technique used was to spin molten glass so as to create a round, mostly flat and even plate (the crown glass process, described above). This plate was then cut to fit a window. The pieces were not, however, absolutely flat; the edges of the disk became a different thickness as the glass spun. When installed in a window frame, the glass would be placed with the thicker side down both for the sake of stability and to prevent water accumulating in the lead cames at the bottom of the window. Occasionally such glass has been found thinner side down or thicker on either side of the window's edge, the result of carelessness during installation."