Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Glass or trasparent plastic?

  1. Mar 21, 2004 #1
    I remember learning that in mixtures if the particles were small enough light would go through and make it trasparent, my question is how/does this relates to things like glass or trasparent plastic? What at the molecular level makes something transparent?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2004 #2
    "particles were small enough, light would go through"

    do you mean light scattering?

    Smaller particle scatter light in lower degree and larger particle in higher degree. This is not related to molecular structure...
  4. Mar 26, 2004 #3
    Also, if you want to talk about why certain things do absorb and others don't (thus transparent) we would need to go into some quantum mechanics and look at something like glass as a SHO.
  5. Mar 27, 2004 #4
    thx, for the answers, and i dont think going into quantum physics would do anything but confuse me, so maybe i can be more precise about what i want to know and someone might be able to explaine it that way. This question comes from a problem that my group for chemistry class is facing in designing this new product that could be produced in 25 years(2029). We decided to do this thing where we add nanotubes and nanopumps to the windshields of a car so that when it rains the water molecules can be absorbed, collected, changed into a gaseous form, and released. The thing is that we did a really good job in our paper and now we are going ot have ot present in this conpetition, and we think it might be good if we could give some scientific explanation of why the nanotubes would not stop the glass from being transparent. Can somebody give me some idea of how this might work or what should be done so that the glass is still transparent???
  6. Mar 27, 2004 #5
    Now your question would lend me to ask, how many nanotubes/pumps would you need? Then i would say, what are these nanotubes and pumps made out of? Organic molecules CAN abosorb in visible, but also absorb in UV so think about your UV exporsure too, there things will be in the blaring sun of the day, will they degredate or be detsroyed? Plus, you have a light scattering problem, it's possible that they might scatter light. So things to keep in mind
  7. Mar 28, 2004 #6
    The nanotubes are made up of Buckyballs (Buckminsterfullerene, C60). And about how many would be needed, we decided to attach charged ions on the ends of it to attract the water molecules and we are assuming that by the year 2029 a very powerfull nanopump will be created, therefore we are assuming that we will not need too many, we havent really specified on how many we would need, which brings me back too my main question how many would be to many for the glass to be transparent?
  8. Apr 12, 2004 #7
    I remember asking why glass is transparent in this forum, try searching for it?
  9. Apr 21, 2004 #8

    interesting project.....

    but remember that if you want the nanotube network to be effective, then those nanotube should be closely packed, and if so, light scattering would occur significantly.......

    also, how you pump water away or turn water to gas ??
    by applying electric potential between the nanotube ? or using light energy??

    it's really interesting, would you mind telling me more??
    I think many guy here would think so...(isn't it?)
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2004
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook