• Question: Is glass a liquid?

    Asked by blatantlyninja to James, Marcus, Martin, Rob, Suzanne on 19 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Marcus Gallagher-Jones

      Marcus Gallagher-Jones answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      No it is a solid. It’s in fact an amorphous compound of silicon dioxide (sand). You can make glass ou of other things also and when you go into material chemistry the real definition gets a little difficult.

    • Photo: Robert Thompson

      Robert Thompson answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      I think the idea of glass being a liquid is fueled by some debate . A quick straw pole of the scientists in my office shows that its not amazingly well known.

    • Photo: Suzanne McEndoo

      Suzanne McEndoo answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      I think glass has some funny properties, but it’s ultimately a solid. There are actually quite a bit of different types of matter beyond solid, liquid or gas. There’s also plasma, bose-einstein condensate, fermi condensate… Depending on where you draw the lines, there can be others too. And there will always be something that doesn’t quite fit well into any categories.

    • Photo: Martin Zaltz Austwick

      Martin Zaltz Austwick answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Glass is like a liquid because the molecules in it are very random and disordered. Solids are usually more ordered. But it’s hard to think glass is much like water (apart from being transparent). But then a tomato is a fruit, apparently.