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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.

sag-test

Sag-test

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.

pitch

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”

800px-Refined_bitumen

Naturally occurring bitumen formed from the remains of algae and other living things deposited  on the sea bed millions of years ago.

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