Unlocking the mystery of why glass is not solid
In the experiment, the researchers used large colloidal particles to simulate atoms and used high-powered microscopes to see how the atoms actually moved.It turned out that the gels formed by these particles did not crystallize because they formed icosahedral structures-consistent with predictions made in the 1950s by Charles Frank of Bristol University.This structure explains why glass is "glass" rather than liquid or solid.
This research is a major breakthrough in the understanding of metastable materials and will enable the further development of new materials such as metallic glass.In addition, it would be possible to greatly reduce metal defects if the metal could be manipulated to form a glass-like internal structure when cooled. (Science Network mei Jin/Compiled)
(Nature Materials, DOI :10.1038/ NMAT2219, C. Patrick Royall, Hajime Tanaka)
The surface of glass looks solid, but it isn't.For more than 50 years, scientists have been trying to understand the nature of glass.A joint study by scientists in Britain, Australia and Japan found that the reason glass does not become solid is because of the special atomic structure it forms as it cools.The paper will be published online in Nature Materials.
"Some materials crystallize when they cool, and atoms are arranged in a highly regular pattern called lattice," said lead researcher Paddy Royall of The University of Bristol.But as the glass cools, the atoms jam together and arrange themselves almost randomly, preventing the regular lattice from forming."