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Glass is a solid material with an amorphous internal structure.

  1. Apr 20, 2003 #1
    "glass" is a solid material with an amorphous internal structure.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/14apr_zeroglass.htm [Broken]

    So does it imply that if I have 1kg egg shell, and I heat it to 2000 F and cool it immediately before the atoms arrange themselves regularly again, then I can obtain glass ? Besides how can the atoms just jumpled together in a disorganized way?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2003 #2
    So does it imply that if I have 1kg egg shell, and I heat it to 2000 F and cool it im

    Yes, that is what is implied. But you only get glass if you could cool it without having crystals form. You couldn't. Not with eggshells alone. Not on earth. Funny you mentioned an eggshell because calcium carbonate in the eggshell is used in some glass-mixtures as a stabilizer (some glass without calcium carbonate can be dissolved by water) but you need to add a "former" to your mix: silica works.

    Glass is a mixture of different stuff. Not all mixtures will produce melts, like the article says, though in space crystalization happens less frequently. That was cool. Different stuff is added to the mixture to bring about a desired type of glass. Maybe one that is clearer for fiber-optics (flouride) or stronger for space shuttle windows, etc. There are all sorts of reasons to add this or that.

    Anyway, all that author meant with the disorganized analogy was to illustrate that the fundamental property of glass is that when heated it's structurally the same as when cooled. Imagine having hands that are 2700F degrees and being able to squeeze, twist, and melt your lungs AND have them retain that position when cooled without being damaged. Glass can do that. Glass is incredible stuff.

    Thanks for the article. I learned some new chemical combinations for glass. The bioactive glass was really interesting for me. I'm going to ask an orthopaedist about that tomorrow.


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