Watching it fall

Physicists at Trinity College recently began to monitor the experiment again. Last April they set up a webcam so that anyone could watch and try to be the first person ever to witness the drop fall live.
At around 5 o'clock in the afternoon on 11 July, physicist Shane Bergin and colleagues captured footage of one of the most eagerly anticipated and exhilarating drips in science. “We were all so excited,” Bergin says. “It’s been such a great talking point, with colleagues eager to investigate the mechanics of the break, and the viscosity of the pitch”.
The Trinity College team has estimated the viscosity of the pitch by monitoring the evolution of this one drop, and puts it in the region of 2 million times more viscous than honey, or 20 billion times the viscosity of water. The speed of formation of the drop can depend on the exact composition of the pitch, and environmental conditions such as temperature and vibration.
Asked about the value of this demonstration, Bergin’s colleague Denis Weaire says, “Curiosity is at the heart of good science, and the pitch drop fuels that curiosity”.
Scientists used to believe glass to be a slow-moving liquid as well — in part because old church window panes are thicker at the bottom — but it is now considered a solid1.

And the next one

Mainstone, who has spent most of his life waiting to see a drop fall with his own eyes, congratulated the Trinity College team. “I have been examining the video over and over again,” he says, ”and there were a number of things about it that were really quite tantalizing for a very long time pitch-drop observer like myself.”
The University of Queensland pitch-drop experiment can be viewed live via a webcam and has a broad following across the globe. The next Queensland drop is predicted to fall some time in 2013.