I have become interested in the material properties of bitumen following ‘Walking of the Stones.’ This material presents the possibility of exploring liquid/solid motion in a very tactile way. Geographical time sped up and made visible to the human eye.
Lord Kelvin started a “Pitch Glacier” experiment around 1887 at Glasgow University. This experiment was used to show that small persistently applied forces are sufficient to produce unlimited changes in the shape of a substance over long periods of time.
A pitch drop experiment set up by University of Queensland, 1927
” I suspect other institutions may also have one running, hidden away somewhere and likely forgotten”
Naturally occurring bitumen formed from the remains of algae and other living things deposited on the sea bed millions of years ago.