Elusive Pitch Drop Finally Caught on Camera
A pitch drop falls in a still from a video provided by Trinity College in Dublin.
Credit: Trinity College

A lifetime of anticipation finally ended in success on July 11, when scientists at Trinity College in Dublin filmed a drop of pitch falling from a funnel. Pitch is the general name for sticky, viscous substances derived from coal and hydrocarbons. Pitch seems solid but actually flows at room temperature, just verrrry slowly. 

The Trinity College pitch-drop experiment is one of the longest-running laboratory experiments in the world. The oldest, a Guinness World Record holder, is another pitch drop experiment in Australia. While both trials have yielded several drops, about one a decade, this is the first time anyone has caught a pitch drop falling on film. A new drop is expected to fall from the Australian funnel sometime this year.

Read more: RTE.news

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+.