The Science of Slow

Bitumen experiment at QMUL

Dr Kostya Trachenko is interviewed by the BBC and appears on the BBC News Website discussing his experiment with bitumen.  Dr Trachenko set up the experiment together with our undergraduate students, placing bitumen in five separate funnels with different sized openings. 

Bitumen is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum.  It behaves as a liquid when hot but at room temperature it can be shattered with a hammer.  The experiment examines the flow of the bitumen as it drips through the openings, despite appearing to be solid at room temperature.

"We convincingly saw that it behaves like a liquid," Dr Trachenko says. "And we were also able to quantify it - because in physics it's important to attach a number to the process."

Read the full article here.