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The Sciences

A Drop of Goo Becomes World Famous

After nearly seven decades, the tar pitch experiment captures its quarry.

tar-pitch.jpg
The pitch drops in slow motion in these frame captures from Shane Bergin's time-lapse video. | Shane Bergin/Trinity College Dublin

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Sixty-nine years ago, a demonstration began at Trinity College Dublin to show that tar pitch, which looks like a glossy black rock, actually flows. The thick goop, with a viscosity 2 million times that of honey, dripped unseen from the tip of a funnel about once a decade — but last year, physics professor Shane Bergin finally caught it on camera. His time-lapse video garnered more than a million views from geeks around the globe.

[This article originally appeared in print as "A Drop of Goo Becomes World Famous."]

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