Tuesday, August 29, 2006

0 Glass - Solid or Liquid?

I was reading my notes for fluid mechanics when I came to a part where the professor said 'Glass is not an ordinary fluid.'

So it is a fluid, and not an ordinary fluid?

So when I decided to find out about glass, one website claimed it was a supercooled liquid, while another claimed it was an amorphous solid. It turns out that I stumbled upon what some long note as an "urban legend" - the idea that glass is a liquid. The scientific arena now generally accepts the fact that glass is an amorphous solid, amorphous because it has no long range order and is not crystalline. Maybe just a little bit, but its mostly amorphous with no clear indication of order in the molecular arrangement even though it may be considered a polymer.

So now I am confused as to why my professor spoke of glass as a 'fluid' in the first place.

Confused slightly.


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