Mulgrove Scale Of Consistency


In 1956, born Yorkshireman and eminent physicist, Jack Mulgrove was caught in a quandary. If the gravy on his meal was too thin, it would wash all over the plate and simply drip away when lifting a morsel of food. Too thick, and it would not be absorbed by either the potatoes or the Yorkshire pudding.
Jack attempted to communicate this to his wife, but didn't know the unit of measurement for consistency. The best he could make was an approximation - "not' thick as custard" he was heard to say, "but thicker tha'n cup tea".
Frustrated by the imprecision of such a technique he researched - and soon found out that there was no unit to measure the consistency of a fluid.
Astounded, he set about the task, and soon came up with the ideal solution; the Mulgrove scale.

Using the Mulgrove scale, we can now measure viscosity in terms of "popes" - One pope is equal to the amount of time it takes for a whippet to chase a fox through a 10 cubic yards of custard.
If it takes half the time, the liquid is a half-pope, twice as long would mean a thickness of 2 popes. Air (which is not a true liquid) has a consistency of roughly 0.03 popes, but moves around a lot and is hard to measure precisely. Lead is shown to have an infinite-pope thickness (which some researchers have dismissed as impossible). This celebrated technique is now in use at laboratories throughout the country, and Mulgrove is thought to be in line to win a posthumous Nobel prize for his pioneering work.

All content copyright Tom Crowley

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