The science of glass

Science
The science of glass

29Glass02 600
NYTimes on the science of glass

It is well known that panes of stained glass in old European churches are thicker at the bottom because glass is a slow-moving liquid that flows downward over centuries. COMPLEX Glass in sheet and molten forms. Glass transition differs from usual phase transition.

Well known, but wrong. Medieval stained glass makers were simply unable to make perfectly flat panes, and the windows were just as unevenly thick when new.

The tale contains a grain of truth about glass resembling a liquid, however. The arrangement of atoms and molecules in glass is indistinguishable from that of a liquid. But how can a liquid be as strikingly hard as glass?

10 thoughts on “The science of glass

  1. Mon says:

    Then why do we not see old glass with the thicker parts at the top or on one side or the other?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Because when a window slams shut, the thick part at the top would break the thin part at the bottom, smart guy.

  3. gunterhausfrau says:

    glass is not a liquid, it is an amorphous solid.

  4. Anonymous says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass#Behavior_of_antique_glass

    The reason the thicker portion isn’t at the top is that they would intentionally put it at the bottom for stability.

  5. rationalpsychic.wordpress.com says:

    Thanks for addressing this. The last ten years I’ve been waiting for the rose window to drip to the floor of Chartres. I hope it won’t come to pass.

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