You might recall my post from the other day about the
The sad news is that the scientist who has headed the experiment since 1961 died Friday without ever seeing it drop. He was 78. John Mainstone was actually responsible for resurrecting the experiment, which had “been relegated to some dusty cupboard” at the University of Queensland, reports Popular Science.
As the “custodian of the world’s longest-running science experiment,” drops did fall on his watch—eight have done so since its start—but Mainstone was never present for one. Two sad misses: Mainstone failed to capture a 2000 drop because the camera trained on it faltered; PhysOrg reports that he expected the ninth drop to fall this year. (You can monitor it here.) Though Mainstone retired in 1996, the Australian notes that he kept an office at the school and continued in his “custodian” role. He was awarded an Ig Nobel in 2005.