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Optical Design & Engineering

The nature of glass remains anything but clear

The glass transition remains a topic of much debate among scientists, as more clues to the nature of glass are discovered. A few years ago, experiments and computer simulations revealed something unexpected: as molten glass cools, the molecules do not slow down uniformly. Some areas jam rigid first while in other regions the molecules continue to skitter around in a liquid-like fashion.

Understanding glass would not just solve a longstanding fundamental (and arguably Nobel-worthy) problem and perhaps lead to better glasses. The tools and techniques applied to glass might provide headway on other problems, in material science, biology and other fields, that look at general properties that arise out of many disordered interactions.

Full story from the New York Times.