Glass is a mysterious material. Recent research concludes that the liquid glass is the new state of matter with very unusual properties.
As common as it may seem, glass is a mysterious material. Recent research at the University of Konstanz concludes that liquid glas is the new state of matter with unusual properties.
What is Liquid Glass?
Glass is made from abundant natural and raw materials such as soda ash, limestone, and sand.
Contrary to popular belief, glass is neither a liquid–whether supercooled or otherwise- nor is it a solid. Glass is an amorphous solid existing between solid and liquid. This is why glass can be blown, pressed, poured, and molded into various shapes.
While glass is a ubiquitous material present in our daily lives, it also poses a major scientific conundrum.
Liquid glass, on the other hand, is a transparent, non-toxic material that can cover virtually any surface without posing any hazard risks. The coating is flexible and breathable which makes it the perfect coating for most products.
Technically termed Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) it consists of almost pure silicon which gives it a high melting temperature. The revolutionary product allows users to protect industrial and domestic surfaces using the durable, easy to clean, and invisible coating of liquid glas.
Why Liquid Glass is the New State of Matter
The team of the University of Konstanz discovered liquid glass’ properties using a model system of colloidal suspensions. The mixture comprises large solid particles suspended in a fluid.
Normally spherical particles would be used, but the team used oblong particles to observe better which directions the particles would be pointing to.
Researches tested various particle concentrations in the fluid, tracking and observing how the particles would rotate in different conditions.
Eventually, evidence suggests that at a higher concentration, particles would block each other from rotating while still maintaining mobility forming the liquid glass state.
Andreas Zambush, lead author of the study says, “At certain particle densities orientational motion froze”
For decades liquid glass properties have been predicted by scientists but only now has the observation been made.
Matthias Fuchs, senior author of the study explains, “This is an incredibly interesting vantage point. Our experiments provide the kind of evidence for the interplay between critical fluctuations and glassy arrest”
The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America explains that in liquid glasses orientational degrees of freedom are frozen while translation is free.
The data gathered from the study provides an insight into the glass transition, therefore revealing an additional state of matter that the science community has been after for decades.
Originally published at The Science Times