Why Glass Still Remains A Mystery To Physicists

There’s a scene in the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” in which one of the characters talks about how glass is made. He talks about waiting for lightning to hit the sand on a beach and harvesting the glass left behind.

It sounds like something made up for a movie, but it’s not, per Discovery. It’s just one of the many ways that glass remains a mystery to so many people. It’s not just “lightning glass” that fascinates scientists; it’s the entire process that still mystifies them.

That’s right: People of science don’t know everything there is to understand about how glass becomes, well, glass. In particular, they’re curious about the glass phase, that point where the glass becomes solid but without a discernible crystalline structure. You see, to be a solid, something has to have form. According to the Eindhoven University of Technology, physicists can’t explain why and how it goes from a liquid to the glass phase. And they believe that once they learn about the process, it can have wide-reaching industrial uses.

First, what is glass in the first place? Glass and ceramics maker Corning wrote that glass is essentially sand that’s been melted down and then chemically transformed. The sand needs to be made up of mainly silica. When the sand gets hot enough, it becomes liquid, which can then be formed in molds or canes when it cools. And when you add materials to it, it can change colors or structure.

Both a liquid and a solid?

Scientists often debate if glass is liquid or solid. Physics Today noted that since glassy materials lack a crystalline structure, they share properties with liquids, whose molecules are all jumbled about. But because glass doesn’t deform easily (at least when it’s not super melted) it’s technically considered something solid. This is why some people refer to glass as a supercooled liquid.

When silica is heated to start the glass-making process, its atoms begin to move very fast. As it cools down, its particles stop moving all over the place and then settle in a recognizable pattern. This is not the case with glass. In many cases, glass represents states of matter that are not in equilibrium.

That’s not the only mystery. The Eindhoven University of Technology said scientists also study the viscosity, or the ease in which something flows and deforms of materials. Of course, when something is liquid, and its atoms are all in disarray, like water, it freely flows. But with glass, its viscosity becomes almost 15 times more than something liquid. And yet, its atoms remain the same.

Like any great detective, scientists want to solve the mystery of why glass has properties of both a solid and a liquid. One such researcher trying to understand more about this material is Liesbeth Janssen. She began working to find out exactly why glass behaves this way and hopefully even develop a theory that explains why the viscosity of glass grows so quickly during the glass phase and yet remains a liquid.

It's not impossible

Janssen is still trying to figure out what makes glass tick, and she’s determined to find out even if her doctoral adviser told her she’s trying to do the impossible. So far, she was able to come up with a theory that aims to predict how fast materials change from a liquid to an amorphous solid like glass but only for one type of particle. Janssen and her team still have to come up with an equation for multiple particles.

So what does it matter if scientists finally solve the mystery of glass? Janssen believes that a better understanding of how materials like glass develop might mean we can apply the same methods to other things. For example, it can unlock fully recyclable plastic where the quality doesn’t deteriorate when used again.

Cells in the human body also have a glass phase, but humans are not made of glass. Asthma patients have epithelial cells that move quickly, while cancerous tumors go through a glass phase when they begin to metastasize and move to other parts of the body. Understanding the glass phase is key to developing ways to treat asthma or cancer.

That’s not the only glass-related research going on. Science Daily reported researchers found a new liquid phase within the glassification process that can make denser materials. These can be used to create thin but incredibly strong glass for electronic devices. Who knew glass wasn’t as crystal clear as we thought?

59 thoughts on “Why Glass Still Remains A Mystery To Physicists

  1. Irvzid says:

    fenofibrate 160mg canada buy fenofibrate 200mg without prescription buy generic tricor

  2. Gffnjs says:

    buy tadalafil 5mg for sale viagra 50mg price viagra 50mg

  3. Mtexvu says:

    buy zaditor 1 mg sinequan canada tofranil us

  4. Ngtdvm says:

    buy minoxidil without a prescription buy mintop generic best ed medication

  5. Jokadi says:

    buy cheap generic precose glyburide 5mg over the counter griseofulvin 250mg for sale

  6. Mqvhwv says:

    aspirin 75mg sale buy aspirin without a prescription purchase zovirax generic

  7. Pwzmgw says:

    order melatonin 3mg generic norethindrone 5 mg us danocrine drug

  8. Qpupqh says:

    dipyridamole 25mg cheap dipyridamole 25mg price buy pravastatin pills

  9. Lodjpy says:

    buy generic dydrogesterone online buy generic jardiance 25mg order empagliflozin 25mg generic

  10. Ragsry says:

    purchase florinef online cheap rabeprazole medication order loperamide

  11. Uetgjx says:

    prasugrel online order pill dramamine 50mg buy tolterodine 1mg online cheap

  12. Fyscjq says:

    pyridostigmine 60mg usa cost maxalt 10mg maxalt online buy

  13. Hpesql says:

    buy ferrous sulfate 100mg pills risedronate buy online brand sotalol 40 mg

  14. Czeetc says:

    vasotec online buy vasotec pills purchase duphalac generic

  15. Dxmgdf says:

    buy zovirax eye drops capecitabine cost rivastigmine order

  16. Cwnpix says:

    order betahistine online cheap purchase betahistine pill probenecid order

  17. Cknmav says:

    cost premarin 600 mg premarin 0.625mg cost viagra 25mg for sale

  18. Ulmjeb says:

    prilosec where to buy buy metoprolol 100mg sale lopressor for sale

  19. Bccuyi says:

    cialis 40mg cost cialis cost buy viagra generic

  20. Uagofd says:

    micardis buy online generic molnunat 200mg oral molnunat 200mg

  21. Tsqspm says:

    cost modafinil 200mg promethazine cheap prednisone brand

  22. Spiqai says:

    oral astelin 10ml order azelastine online cheap cheap avapro 150mg

  23. Cpixvt says:

    order esomeprazole 40mg without prescription topamax 100mg without prescription topiramate 200mg price

  24. Jxmgla says:

    imitrex 25mg drug levaquin generic avodart 0.5mg for sale

  25. Qkawkj says:

    order generic zyloprim temovate order online crestor 10mg usa

  26. Sgwwih says:

    buy zantac 150mg generic meloxicam 15mg celebrex 200mg oral

  27. Hjzrxq says:

    order buspar generic order ezetimibe 10mg pills cordarone 100mg sale

  28. Mhyadx says:

    tamsulosin us cheap flomax 0.2mg buy simvastatin 20mg

  29. Xgdapd says:

    purchase domperidone pills buy sumycin 250mg sale sumycin tablet

  30. Qmokgp says:

    order aldactone 100mg finasteride 5mg us order proscar generic

  31. Qxsqzl says:

    thesis website thesis writers best essay writers online

  32. Oxysgd says:

    buy diflucan 200mg without prescription cipro 1000mg canada cheap cipro 500mg

  33. Cwebef says:

    buy generic aurogra for sale order sildalis sale buy cheap yasmin

  34. Cxztss says:

    buy cheap lamictal buy lamictal 50mg online cheap nemazole ca

  35. Yqisnh says:

    buy generic clindamycin order cleocin 300mg pill order fildena 50mg

  36. Fokxkf says:

    cheap retin cream tadalis price stendra sale

  37. Bkfksi says:

    buy tamoxifen 20mg for sale buy budesonide cheap rhinocort uk

  38. Ifskqx says:

    buy tadacip 10mg generic buy tadalafil generic indomethacin cost

  39. Gvohso says:

    buy ceftin tablets buy bimatoprost no prescription how to get methocarbamol without a prescription

  40. Ptuzcd says:

    desyrel price desyrel 100mg pill clindamycin order online

  41. Zhrnlv says:

    lamisil sale free play real money casino slot machine

  42. Iohysh says:

    buy aspirin medication gambling online win real money hollywood casino online real money

  43. Apykpk says:

    cheap dissertation help apa literature review help order cefixime sale

  44. Upcjrc says:

    writing assignments help with assignments australia poker games online

  45. Jgvveq says:

    rocaltrol cost tricor where to buy buy generic fenofibrate over the counter

  46. Sxuejm says:

    trimox 500mg drug oral clarithromycin 500mg clarithromycin 250mg uk

  47. Csqdyx says:

    acne pills that actually work purchase oxcarbazepine without prescription oral trileptal

  48. Sdmlzc says:

    cheap clonidine buy cheap generic tiotropium order spiriva pills

  49. Lpldlg says:

    buy alfuzosin 10mg generic list of acidic drugs medicine for severe stomach pain

  50. Plimhf says:

    buy minocin 100mg without prescription buy minocycline cheap brand requip

  51. Cbykgk says:

    buy sleep meds online medication hair loss side effect telehealth appointments for weight loss

  52. Jpvetv says:

    buy provera pill provera 5mg sale microzide us

  53. Okeccz says:

    antiviral drug definition type 2 diabetes develops if is ozempic fda approved for prediabetes

  54. Uyukjz says:

    cyproheptadine price cheap periactin buy ketoconazole 200mg generic

  55. Orxmdu says:

    skin fungal infection treatment oral natural fungus killer for the human body safest medication for hypertension

  56. Qnpjou says:

    duloxetine 40mg uk buy modafinil pills modafinil 100mg for sale

  57. Sxkvqi says:

    causes of erosive gastritis hypertensive crisis blood pressure level over counter cystitis treatment uk

  58. Cdblsu says:

    buy phenergan generic promethazine 25mg pills buy ivermectin 12mg online

  59. Wtgmav says:

    contraceptive pills online birth control samples online free best ejaculation delay pills

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *