The drop dropped in the Ig Nobel-winning pitch drop experiment

Big little news from Queensland, as reported by Celeste Biever and Lisa Grossman for New Scientist magazine: Longest experiment sees pitch drop after 84-year wait The pitch has dropped – again. This time, the glimpse of a falling blob of tar, also called pitch, represents the first result for the world’s longest-running experiment…. Up-and-running since 1930, the experiment […]

Economics experiment finds people volunteer for economics experiments largely to make money

What does one learn from reading about economics experiments? This: “Self-Selection into Economics Experiments Is Driven by Monetary Rewards,” Johannes Abeler [University of Oxford, IZA and CESifo] and Daniele Nosenzo [University of Nottingham], IZA [Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit / Institute for the Study of Labor] DP No. 7374, April 2013. The researchers explain: “Laboratory […]

The slow pitch of excitement

Robin McKie, in The Observer, chronicles the slowly, slowly, slowly mounting excitement about the Ig Nobel Prize-winning [physics prize, 2005] Australian pitch-drop experiment: In terms of output, Queensland University’s pitch drop study – the world’s oldest laboratory experiment – has been stunningly low. Only eight drops have emerged from the lump of pitch installed in the university’s physics building […]

Nature looks, briefly, at the long-running pitch drop experiment

Nature takes a quick look at the now-86-year-long pitch drop experiment, and at several other long-running experiments. The people who started and tend the pitch drop experiment were awarded the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize in physics. Nature says, in part: The pitch-drop experiment started when Thomas Parnell, the university’s first professor of physics, set up […]

Hamburgers, and nothing but, in a man in the 1930s

The Minnesota Medical foundation described, a while ago, a hamburgers-and-human experiment that took place a good while before that. Their blog in 2008 called it “an unusual hamburger experiment” done in the 1930s by Jesse McClendon [pictured here] of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Physiological Chemistry. Some details: He planned to feed a single experimental […]