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How big is a 'fragment'?

When a drinking glass falls on the floor and breaks, the shards will vary in size from large to extremely small. For the broken glass of a bus shelter, the story is different: all fragments have roughly the same size. Researchers ...

Māori scientists work 'cultural double-shifts'

Māori scientists face the double challenge of undertaking innovative research while also being expected to raise the cultural capacity of their organizations and the science system.

Challenging Einstein's picture of Brownian motion

Around a decade ago, the discovery of Fickian yet non-Gaussian Diffusion (FnGD) in soft and biological materials broke up the celebrated Einstein's picture of Brownian motion. To date, such an intriguing phenomenon is still ...

Scientists observe role of cavitation in glass fracturing

Glassy materials play an integral role in the modern world, but inherent brittleness has long been the Achilles' heel that severely limits their usefulness. Due to the disordered amorphous structure of glassy materials, many ...

New insights into the formation of bulk metallic glasses

With the ability to produce metallic glass in bulk quantities, the distinct mechanical behavior of these materials has opened up new application opportunities. However, the poor room temperature plasticity of bulk metallic ...

Micro-environmental influences on artificial micromotors

By harvesting energy from their surrounding environments, particles named 'artificial micromotors' can propel themselves in specific directions when placed in aqueous solutions. In current research, a popular choice of micromotor ...

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Glass

Glass generally refers to hard, brittle, transparent material, such as those used for windows, many bottles, or eyewear. Examples of such solid materials include, but are not limited to, soda-lime glass, borosilicate glass, acrylic glass, sugar glass, isinglass (Muscovy-glass), or aluminium oxynitride. In the technical sense, glass is an inorganic product of fusion which has been cooled through the glass transition to a rigid condition without crystallizing. Many glasses contain silica as their main component and glass former.

In the scientific sense the term glass is often extended to all amorphous solids (and melts that easily form amorphous solids), including plastics, resins, or other silica-free amorphous solids. In addition, besides traditional melting techniques, any other means of preparation are considered, such as ion implantation, and the sol-gel method. However, glass science and physics commonly includes only inorganic amorphous solids, while plastics and similar organics are covered by polymer science, biology and further scientific disciplines.

Glass plays an essential role in science and industry. The optical and physical properties of glass make it suitable for applications such as flat glass, container glass, optics and optoelectronics material, laboratory equipment, thermal insulator (glass wool), reinforcement fiber (glass-reinforced plastic, glass fiber reinforced concrete), and art.

The term glass developed in the late Roman Empire. It was in the Roman glassmaking center at Trier, Germany, that the late-Latin term glesum originated, probably from a Germanic word for a transparent, lustrous substance.

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