Skip to main content

Why should we be interested in glass?

Why should we be interested in glass?
Dr Anita Zeidler, Physics Department, University of Bath at BRLSI on 30th June 2016.
Convenor science group, John Davies.
Notes by William Gaskell.

Glass’ properties include:
·         Good heat shock resistance
·         Insulation of heat and electricity
Making it good for cooking hobs.

Glass formation:
Slow cooling -> ordered pattern formation -> crystal
Fast cooling (quenching) -> amorphous liquid structure frozen -> glass

Glass is a solid with structure that resembles a liquid. Flint is actually a glass, which is why it could be chiselled into very sharp points for stone age arrowheads and blades.

Glass is composed of silicon and oxygen: Si + O also perhaps B or P, Al, K, Ca, depending on the use. For example, in the nuclear industry glass with a high proportion of lead is used to improve the shielding effect from radiation.

Gorilla glass made by etching or dipping surface of glass into an alkali metal solution, replacing sodium ions with potassium to put the surface under stress making it much harder and more resistant to breaking.

Arctic frog’s blood turns to glass when it freezes so it can survive freezing and defrosting without rupturing any cell membranes or blood vessels as the freezing process to glass would not create any sharp edges as would happen in a regular freezing process where the crystal structure could form sharp spikes which would damage the cell membranes and blood vessels.

Dr Zeidler’s research is on how glass properties change when permanently densified under 20 GPa of pressure, this work was being conducted in Grenoble Research Reactors with neutrons to study how the structure changes.

Caramel, made by dissolving sugar into water, is an example of a glass you can make at home by dissolving sugar in the water then heating it up – let it cool and it caramelises into a glass!


Popular posts from this blog

Effective Altruism

It’s not quite Aldous Huxley or George Orwell. I think altruism is what the Dalai Lama perhaps aspires to; kindness, clarity and compassion. This is about humanity rather than about more abstract terms such as the value of money as a metric for happiness or altruism. When dealing with diagnostic labels in mental health, you have to decide whether money is in fact a factor is such a diagnosis or not, given your politics on what money is. Therefore, mental health should be more of a framework that enables those who chose to give up their freedom to live a healthy life, in safety and security within the system. People seek opportunity, therefore by providing such a framework and a decent introduction to a healthy life free of unhappiness is essential to providing a service that is altruistic. We can see this from the British government’s model of social care and welfare programmes, which have proven resilient to mass immigration, a changing demographic, leading to the disruption in

Notes from Energy & Utility Forum 2017

1. Robert Symons, CEO of Western Power Distribution said: “Energy demand could rise by 100% by 2030. Smart grids will be needed to manage electric vehicle charging so that the usage does not exceed the supply capacity at any time during the day.” 2. Spoke to Harry Vickers, Business Development Manager of Camborne Energy Storage, Camborne Capital at the Energy and Utility Forum in London on October 23rd 2017. He told me his company is working with Elon Musk to bring Tesla battery grid storage solutions to the UK. 3. Spoke to Sally Barrett-Williams, Chairman of Energy and Utility Forum on October 23rd, who said subsidies for solar projects had ended and her company’s focus has shifted to energy storage schemes. 4. Spoke to Simon Dowland, PhD, at 13:00 on Sunday 29th October, Simon is now working up in Cambridge at the Cavendish Physics Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, he is working in industry for the company Eight19 Ltd a spin off from a research project to bring ne

LETTERS TO BEN: Accessing Better Housing in Bath