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(Utne)   The world's longest-running scientific experiment has been working perfectly since 1927--though not one person has actually observed it in action   (utne.com) divider line
    More: Sappy, zip code, Pitch Drop Experiment, drips, fluids, crude oil, Professor John Mainstone, campaigns, Utne Reader  
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14452 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 02 Oct 2009 at 6:42 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2009-10-02 2:51:48 PM  
The Theory of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidtivity?
 
2009-10-02 2:59:11 PM  

brap: The Theory of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidtivity?


hey! that's my name too.
 
2009-10-02 3:02:11 PM  
"Winner" of an Ig Nobel Prize.
 
2009-10-02 3:02:40 PM  
I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?
 
2009-10-02 3:09:37 PM  

ScubaDude1960: I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?


Recently I heard that this is a myth. Old windows are thicker at the bottom because of manufacturing tolerances, and the glazers knew to put any thicker edges down for some reason.
 
2009-10-02 3:15:34 PM  

AnthraxRipple: Recently I heard that this is a myth. Old windows are thicker at the bottom because of manufacturing tolerances, and the glazers knew to put any thicker edges down for some reason.


I've heard that, too. I think it's a mistake to try to classify everything as solid, liquid, or gas.. many substances don't clearly fit into any one category. Glass should probably just be considered "a glass."
 
2009-10-02 3:20:52 PM  

AnthraxRipple: ScubaDude1960: I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?

Recently I heard that this is a myth. Old windows are thicker at the bottom because of manufacturing tolerances, and the glazers knew to put any thicker edges down for some reason.



Here's a way too long article that basically concludes that very thing.
 
2009-10-02 3:23:57 PM  
The song "Anticipation" is stuck in my head now.

Come on...sing with me.
 
2009-10-02 3:32:25 PM  

sweetmelissa31: Glass should probably just be considered "a glass."


Non-crystalline or amorphous solid might be better.
 
2009-10-02 3:41:36 PM  
golf clap for using the sappy tag
 
2009-10-02 3:43:43 PM  

ScubaDude1960: I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?


No, sheets of glass at that time were made by taking a glob of glass out of the furnace and spinning it on a rod until you got a circular sheet of glass. The glass varies in thickness from the center to the edges. Having the thickest part on the bottom made the glass more stable and less likely to fall out of the frame.
 
2009-10-02 3:57:11 PM  
Someone's testing evolution?

(+1 for the sappy tag)
 
2009-10-02 3:58:42 PM  

Crosshair: ScubaDude1960: I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?

No, sheets of glass at that time were made by taking a glob of glass out of the furnace and spinning it on a rod until you got a circular sheet of glass. The glass varies in thickness from the center to the edges. Having the thickest part on the bottom made the glass more stable and less likely to fall out of the frame.


Actually, they put the thickest part of the glass at the bottom to perpetuate this myth. There were real A-holes back then.
 
2009-10-02 4:16:37 PM  

Sybarite: AnthraxRipple: ScubaDude1960: I've heard that very old glass window panes (like in old European castles and such) get thicker at the bottom and shorter, but it takes hundreds of years. Will they eventually flow out of the window frame entirely?

Recently I heard that this is a myth. Old windows are thicker at the bottom because of manufacturing tolerances, and the glazers knew to put any thicker edges down for some reason.


Here's a way too long article that basically concludes that very thing.


I knew that if I hung around FARK long enough I'd learn something. Thanks to all who corrected me.
 
2009-10-02 4:34:18 PM  
I, too, enjoyed the sappy tag. Sweet a molasses.

+1
 
2009-10-02 4:38:10 PM  
The cat is dead.
 
2009-10-02 4:50:12 PM  
add another to those pleased with the tag
 
2009-10-02 5:16:05 PM  
TFA: Eight drops have fallen so far

If nobody's ever seen it, how do they know how many times it's happened?
 
2009-10-02 5:21:18 PM  
Nice vibrator in the sidebar ad.
 
2009-10-02 5:21:48 PM  

ne2d: TFA: Eight drops have fallen so far

If nobody's ever seen it, how do they know how many times it's happened?


Because the drops form very, *very* slowly. They can see them forming, and watch as they get closer to dropping, just no one has ever actually seen the part where it lets go and falls.
 
2009-10-02 5:29:51 PM  

Gecko Gingrich: ne2d: TFA: Eight drops have fallen so far

If nobody's ever seen it, how do they know how many times it's happened?

Because the drops form very, *very* slowly. They can see them forming, and watch as they get closer to dropping, just no one has ever actually seen the part where it lets go and falls.


Yeah, but maybe it drips real fast when noone's looking.
 
2009-10-02 5:30:55 PM  
Not to burst your bubble, but wouldn't the experiment end when the first drop fell? Do we really have to wait 4,000 years to make a conclusion? Cause I have ADD.
 
2009-10-02 5:32:12 PM  

ne2d: Yeah, but maybe it drips real fast when noone's looking.


nndb.comView Full Size


"Why the bloody hell would I stare at a jar of pitch, ya wanker?"

 
2009-10-02 5:59:48 PM  
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2009-10-02 6:10:31 PM  
Not the oldest experiment - there are two others vying for that record.
 
2009-10-02 6:32:42 PM  
a video camera placed to monitor the experiment happened to fail at the very moment the eighth drop fell.

A likely story. A LIKELY STORY INDEED.
 
2009-10-02 6:45:18 PM  
well, except for that one that the damned vogons blew up just before it was done =p
 
2009-10-02 6:52:53 PM  
I did something similar a while back. In an attempt to clean the stuff, I sat a glob of silicone museum wax (^) in a metal coffee filter. The silicone goo is much less viscous than the pitch in this experiment, but it still took well over the year for the 4 ounce glob to pass through the filter.
 
2009-10-02 6:53:24 PM  

eddie van heinous: Not the oldest experiment - there are two others vying for that record.


Please elaborate?
=Smidge=
 
2009-10-02 6:59:49 PM  
bradkovach.comView Full Size


** sigh **

While interesting, I wouldn't call the setup a science "experiment." More of a science demonstration.

Now HERE's an experiment:

imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2009-10-02 7:05:30 PM  

haemaker: The cat is dead.


I lol'd.
 
2009-10-02 7:14:55 PM  
Pitchdrops from hoses and whiskers on kittens!
 
F42
2009-10-02 7:44:41 PM  

yogaFLAME: a video camera placed to monitor the experiment happened to fail at the very moment the eighth drop fell.

A likely story. A LIKELY STORY INDEED.


you made me lol :)

Kinda makes me speculate that pitch dropping causes some kind of quantum effect rendering the event impossible to observe.

/not drunk, not high
//bit tired though
 
2009-10-02 7:52:35 PM  
Wowee! Fascinating!!
 
2009-10-02 8:00:11 PM  

haemaker: The cat is dead.


what you did there? i saw it
 
2009-10-02 8:22:43 PM  
The phenomena of creep in a lot of materials (especially observed in metals) is an age-induced phenomena. I guess it can be thought of as super-viscous fluid flow in a very crude sense.

/Feels a bit dirty all of a sudden.
 
2009-10-02 8:25:40 PM  

beelzebubba76: The phenomena of creep in a lot of materials (especially observed in metals) is an age-induced phenomena. I guess it can be thought of as super-viscous fluid flow in a very crude sense.

/Feels a bit dirty all of a sudden.


And, I was referring to cold creep (which is also influenced by the stresses the object is subjected to), at, or near room temperature.
 
2009-10-02 8:28:46 PM  

w_houle: haemaker: The cat is dead.

How can you tell without looking inside the box?


You raped a cat to death?
 
2009-10-02 8:35:58 PM  

sweetmelissa31: AnthraxRipple: Recently I heard that this is a myth. Old windows are thicker at the bottom because of manufacturing tolerances, and the glazers knew to put any thicker edges down for some reason.

I've heard that, too. I think it's a mistake to try to classify everything as solid, liquid, or gas.. many substances don't clearly fit into any one category. Glass should probably just be considered "a glass."


No, glass is a solid, it just lacks crystal structure like metals or ceramics. Yes, the atoms are arranged randomly like a liquid, but there isn't enough energy in the material for atoms to move past one another. For this reason, they are considered solids.

/Works with glass
 
2009-10-02 8:46:31 PM  
Umm... How about a control - same said glass without any heating or changing of it in any way.

*shrugs*

Here's some gibberish:
Link (new window)

Dunno if anyone cares of not but, well, this looks like a good subject to debate as to the state of glass.

It page isn't that long a read, I'm not sure if it is the same article from back then, but I took a course at a local community college not too many years ago to refresh myself and the professor postulated that glass was a liquid and I started searching for the answer that evening when I got home.

His reasoning for the belief that it was a liquid was that it did not have a crystalline molecular structure as I recall. It was fun and interesting to read up on it but, honestly, I still don't have a clue as to it's state.
 
2009-10-02 8:56:12 PM  
Cool - when this is done, the mice will know what the question is that's answered with 42, right?
 
2009-10-02 9:36:42 PM  
zimbach: In an attempt to clean the stuff, I sat a glob of silicone museum wax (^) in a metal coffee filter. The silicone goo is much less viscous than the pitch in this experiment, but it still took well over the year for the 4 ounce glob to pass through the filter.

You can't leave us hanging like that!

Did it come out clean?
 
2009-10-02 9:38:11 PM  
a video camera placed to monitor the experiment happened to fail at the very moment the eighth drop fell."
=====================================

Ouch
 
2009-10-02 10:20:47 PM  
I came here expecting news that the next drop has fallen.

FAIL.
 
2009-10-02 10:45:17 PM  
downstairs: [picture of the pitch]
Two questions:
1) Why is there a 9V battery next to the pitch in the bell jar?
B) He invented an experiment involving truck-nutz?
 
2009-10-02 10:47:31 PM  
As someone who spent four hours today writing up a lab report on viscosity I'm getting a kick...

Fun stuff. Interesting to see that about glass - my Mechanics of Solids professor told us that glass still flows, just extremely slowly. Shrug. Of course he's been teaching there for 30 years and he probably learned it as fact back when he was in school.

/not really a kick - I *hate* writing lab reports
 
2009-10-02 11:03:58 PM  

beelzebubba76: beelzebubba76: The phenomena of creep in a lot of materials (especially observed in metals) is an age-induced phenomena. I guess it can be thought of as super-viscous fluid flow in a very crude sense.

/Feels a bit dirty all of a sudden.

And, I was referring to cold creep (which is also influenced by the stresses the object is subjected to), at, or near room temperature.


I believe that can be seen in very old (200+ year) lead water pipes.
 
2009-10-02 11:18:24 PM  

Loucifer: Pitchdrops from hoses and whiskers on kittens!


Waking hungover with drool on my mittens
 
2009-10-02 11:19:59 PM  

ScubaDude1960: I knew that if I hung around FARK long enough I'd learn something. Thanks to all who corrected me.


This. I've just never questioned the truth of this myth before. The "thick side down" explanation makes a lot more sense and is less complicated.
 
2009-10-03 12:18:36 AM  
static.guim.co.ukView Full Size


Would like a word.
 
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