The Mystery Light Bulb Has Been On For 113 Years

By Anupum Pant

There are a handful of different reasons that may make an incandescent bulb blow out. Improper sealing, rough handling and electrical surge are some of them which may blow out a bulb prematurely. Still, bulbs are not for ever.

Very gradually, due to the extremely high heat of resistance, the very thin tungsten filament would evaporate making it thinner and thinner with time. Ultimately, the filament will certainly reach a point beyond which it can’t last. At a certain place in the filament where a slightly greater number of atoms get evaporated into the inert atmosphere of the bulb, the filament breaks. As a result the bulb pops and you need to replace it.

Even if everything goes right, your average incandescent bulb won’t usually last for more than a couple of years. Certainly not for 113 years! But one bulb did and it still glows. No one knows or understands why exactly it has lasted for so long. Whatever it is, it is nothing less than a miracle.

Installed in the year 1901, the incredibly old bulb (not tungsten filament, this one is a carbon filament bulb) still glows at a fire station in Livermore, California. All it’s life it’s seen ups and downs, was moved from one place to another (mostly fire stations), was protected from electrical surges and what not. With a few hours of brief outages here and there it has clocked over one million hours of burn time. And it still glows. In fact it holds the world record for being the longest burning light bulb. You can watch it here on the live cam.

[Centennial bulb live cam] Fun fact: The bulb has outlasted 3 of these webcams which keep broadcasting its live status.

Last year, it went off for a couple of hours and created waves all over the media. Later, it was reported that the bulb was back again. It was probably “just taking a nap“.

There are a couple of explanations (theories) on what may have made the bulb last so long. A few of them being –

  • It hasn’t been switched on and off many times. Lesser cycles, longer life.
  • It is a 60 watt bulb turned on to about 4 watts, which probably prevents it from going too hot.
  • Since a lot of extra care and money was spent on making this bulb, it was not one of those mass manufactured bulbs. It has probably been sealed perfectly. So, there’s no chance of air leaking into the bulb.

Please hit like if you learnt something today. It will help this honest effort of mine to reach more explorers out there.

Titin Protein – The Longest Word in English

By Anupum Pant

Background

No, I’m not talking about the fictional character Tintin. It’s Titin I’m talking about. The initial part of it is pronounced almost like Titan, but please do not confuse it with Titan.  Titin is the largest protein molecule ever discovered. Soon you’ll see why it is the largest…

Titin is the short name for an extremely massive protein molecule. The full-length scientific name of this protein molecule contains 189,819 characters and is considered (by some) as the longest word in not just English, but any language.

Others choose to not consider it a word at all. You won’t even find the full scientific name of Titin in any dictionary. According to lexicographers it is only a chemical formula, not a word. Technically, they are right. So, it is not really the longest word in English.

In that case, probably a lung disease called pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis can be considered the largest word. There are 45 letters in it. But my history teacher once told me that floccinaucinihilipilification (meaning, the estimation of something as worthless) was the longest word in English. Well, someone needs to tell me which one it really is. Till then, I’ll consider Titin as the undefeated champion…

What is it?

Titin is a protein found in certain kind of muscle tissues. It is the thing that makes those muscles elastic. For instance, in heart muscles – that expand and contract continuously for decades, without a break. The folded nature of this huge molecule makes it act like a spring – just like a long wire can be coiled into a small spring. The full chemical formula goes like this:

C132983H211861N36149O40883S693

I won’t spam my blog with the full name, but I’ll definitely point you to it. [Full name spelled out]. If you are too lazy to go there, it starts like this:

Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalrylglycylphenylalanylprolylvalylprolyylglycylarginylalanyllysylleucylthreonylglutamylleucylleu…

and ends like this:

partylaspartylleucylthreonylthrnylaspartylvalylglutaminyllysylglutamilthreonylleucylserylleucylglycylasparalaspartylserylalanylthr…

The video: It takes about 233 minutes to pronounce the full chemical name – Yes, a guy tried it out (with video cuts of course). The gentleman pronounces it on camera for you. If you care enough to watch the whole 3 and half hour-long video, you’ll see how the man grows a stubble while pronouncing it. Also, you’ll see the plant dying out. But those are only gimmicks that makes the video funny. I’d like to add that his expression in the end is priceless. You shouldn’t miss that. Here, I’ve attached it for you below:

To use up the same amount of time in a better manner, I suggest that you watch the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate.

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