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Glass - An overview

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Glass Glass is a very odd substance, is it a solid or a liquid? There are many reasons why it can be considered either of the two, but still most people are unsure of its state. Glass may be a state of matter that is neither solid nor liquid. A liquid has viscosity, which is a measure of its resistance to flow. So water may move very quickly because it has a high viscosity, but oil has a high viscosity so it moves slower. If something were to have a very high viscosity then it may seem like a solid but it would be an amorphous solid. An amorphous solid is a liquid that looks like a solid but doesn't have crystals so it just sits there for a long time and slowly moves. ...read more.


for a constant amount of time. Since as far as we can tell both those things hold true for glass so those aren't good ways to establish a for sure state of matter for glass. Another way to decide where glass is a liquid or solid is to say there is a minimum amount of shear stress required to permanently deform it then it's a solid. There are materials which have some limited flow known as viscoelasticity. The material will deform elastically under stress. If the stress is held for a long time the deformation becomes permanent even if the stress was small. Materials with viscoelasticity may seem to flow slowly for a while but then stop. ...read more.


So really the only one that can decide is you. Quotes I liked "You form glass by 'super cooling' a liquid below its freezing point, then cooling it some more. If you cool it fast enough, the molecules can't organize themselves into crystals" Robert Kunzig Discover Magazine October 1999 "There is a story that once a ship belonging to some traders in natural soda (natron) put in there and that they scattered along the shore to prepare a meal. Since, however, no stones suitable for supporting their cauldrons were forthcoming, they rested them on lumps of soda from their cargo. When these became heated and were completely mingled with the sand on the beach, a strange translucent liquid (novi liquoris) flowed forth in streams; and this, it is said, was the origin of glass. ...read more.

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