Sunday, May 26, 2013

Additional Light on the State of Glass

One of the more interesting, small debates in the chemistry-physics world over the last many years addresses the state of glass. After several researchers noticed that glass in medieval cathedrals was thicker at the bottom, a hypothesis formed that claims glass is not actually a solid as we perceive it, but instead, is in liquid state at the temperatures we typically encounter it, and thus, moves over time, reacting very slowly to gravity in the case of the window panes.

If true, of course, this has wide ranging, and potentially disastrous, consequences for everything from our glass-and-steel skyscrapers, to vehicles--boats, aircraft--that use fiberglass and epoxy-based materials.

20 M year old amber

Recently, a team from Texas Tech University was able to study a 20-million-year-old piece of Dominican amber, and their preliminary analysis in search of 'transitional state' glass apprears to be negative. In other words, glass isn't going anywhere. It's as solid as we always thought, as solid as rock, in fact.

Read all about it on

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