Glass is anything that’s rigid like a crystal, yet made of disordered molecules like a liquid. To understand why it exists, researchers are attempting to create the perfect, still-hypothetical “ideal glass.” In studying materials like amber in the hope that they might provide part of the solution.
- Physicist Miguel Ramos acquired some amber samples from nearby paleontologists in order to use them to research the concept of ideal glass.
- Any rigid material composed of disordered molecules — including many plastics, hard candy, and other materials — is technically a type of glass.
- A cooling liquid will either crystallize or form a glass, which is why avoiding the former is a significant challenge to glassblowers.
“Inconveniently, ideal glass would take so long to form that it may not have done so in all of cosmic history.”