They say a watched kettle never boils, but Irish Physicist Eamon Glasscock has set out to disprove this theory and made some other remarkable discoveries on the way.
Glasscock, 26, a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, has spent a lifetime fascinated by things that get hot.
“As a child I loved to switch on the electric fire just to watch it glow and get hot,” he explained. “Even in the height of summer I would switch it on, but that was only to be expected in Ireland!”
“It drove my parents insane,” he added with a wink.
As part of his research Glasscock had to convert part of his laboratory into a mock kitchen.
“We got a grant from the government and some help from the Engineering Department. So we were able to add a base unit with a sink, some wall cupboards and a worktop nicely finished in imitation marble. We also bought a kettle to watch,” confided the Scientist.
As part of his research Glasscock would fill the kettle with water, or H2O as Scientists call it, and then switch it on. He would then sit and observe what happens.
“It was my belief from the start that the ‘watched kettle never boils’ brigade were anti-Science. However I found that in 100% of cases the kettle did boil even though I was watching it.”
In order to add a fair test to his experiments Glasscock called on the assistance of his fellow countryman Eamon Hire Ph.D., a Zoologist from County Meath, to repeat the experiment. Dr. Hire found the same consistent set of results. To further test his theory Glasscock purchased two further kettles from different manufacturers.
“In my paper recently submitted to The Physics Review of Ireland I have been able to state quite clearly that a watched kettle does boil,” declared Glasscock.
As a further discovery Glasscock and hire also found that using boiled water to make endless cups of coffee can cause palpitations and constipation, not a great combination.
“We’ve applied to the University for a Further Research Grant to study this phenomenon,” elucidated Dr. Hire.
The two researchers also spoke briefly about the application to study bears in America, Russia and China.
“We would like to establish the facts behind the age old question of where the Ursines defecate,” clarified Dr. Glasscock.
Meanwhile David Cameron, the English Prime Minister, commented on the research.
“We never had kettles at Eton,” he put into the plain words of a working man, “though we did have our own woods with our own Conservative Bears. That’s why we won the First World War.”