A Look at the Looooooooong-Almost-Dripping, Ig Nobel Prize-winning Pitch Drop Experiment

The folks at Today I Found Out take a look at the Ig Nobel Prize-winning Pitch Drop Experiment: The 2005 Ig Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to John Mainstone and the late Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, Australia, for patiently conducting an experiment that began in the year 1927 — in which a glob of congealed black tar […]

Dickey’s gander at a quibble about pitch: 432 Hz for orchestras?

Colin Dicky takes a gander at a cocked quibble, in the essay “Pitch Battles—HOW A PARANOID FRINGE GROUP MADE MUSICAL TUNING AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE“: “In 1988, more than a dozen of opera’s greatest superstars—including Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Birgit Nilsson [pictured here]—added their names to a petition before the Italian government, asking it to […]

A new, more rapid, yet unhasty look at pitch slowly dropping

Inspired, eventually, by the long, slow, continuing Australian pitch-drop experiment, a team in London has speeded things up considerably but — deliberately — not at all completely. They published a study about it: “Measurement of bitumen viscosity in a room-temperature drop experiment: student education, public outreach and modern science in one,” A.T. Widdicombe, P. Ravindrarajah, […]

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 […]

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 […]