Episode 154: Fast and Slow

The wonders of chemistry can occur in the blink of an eye. They can also take decades and decades to manifest. On today's episode of Distillations we journey to both extremes. First, producer Michael Rhee reports from Australia on the world's longest-running science experiment. (It's trying to capture visual proof of the viscosity of pitch.) Next, producer Stephanie Coleman untangles the jumble of chemical reactions that occur when an airbag is deployed— in what feels like a split-second.

For more about the pitch-drop experiment, check out this video. (Or watch the experiment in real time here.)

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:50 Introduction
01:26 The Pitch-Drop Experiment
10:22 Airbags
15:05 Closing Credits


Special thanks to Michael Rhee and Stephanie Coleman for researching this show. 

Video produced by Michael Rhee.

Our theme music is composed by Andrew Chalfen. Music from the Free Music Archive includes "Holy Ghost," by Holy Ghost, and "Aces and Twos (Live @ KEXP)," by The Devil Makes Three. Also featured is "Science Lab," by Michael Rhee.

Image courtesy of Flickr user qwrrty.

Posted In: History | Society | Technology

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