chemistry question #373



Thomas Seltsam, a 23 year old male from Austria asks on April 26, 1998,

Q:

Is glass an amorphous mass? Old glass, for example the glass found in old churches, is much thicker at the bottom than at the top. Is this a fault of the manufacturing process of the time, or is it because glass is amorphous, and not crystalline?

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the answer

Barry Shell answered on April 26, 1998, A:

Glass is a kind of amorphous crystalline mass. It used to be called a supercooled liquid, so people thought that it flowed very slowly. Now it seems to be considered to be an amorphous solid and does not flow. The thicker glass at the bottom of old windows is thought to be an artifact of manufacture. There is an exhaustive discussion of the glass flow idea by Florin Neumann of Toronto.

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