Mighty Morphing Glass, middle grade non-fiction in progress
by Stacey Dennick
What’s something that’s not a liquid, a gas, or a solid?
Here’s a hint; it’s something you see and use every day.
[illustration: person wearing glasses, window with glass, glass bottle, drinking glass]
Glass is an amorphous solid. That means it’s not quite solid but also not a liquid.
Liquids flow. You can pour water, milk or juice into a cup. Liquids take the shape of whatever container they’re in.
Glass seems solid. But scientists say it’s not because when you look at glasses’ smallest building blocks—atoms—they aren’t organized in neat rows and columns like quartz crystal or rock sugar. The microscopic particles that make up glass aren’t locked in place.
[illustration: graphic showing atomic arrangements of crystal, glass and a gas]
Glass is a mighty morphing substance. Morphing means transforming.
Glass is made of silica (or silicon dioxide if you want to get all scientist-y). It’s very common; it’s what sand is made of!
Once people learned how to heat silicon dioxide to high temperatures, they were able to form glass into everything from fancy goblets to eyeglasses. How many uses for glass can you name?
[illustration: blown glass goblet, stained glass church window, clear home window, car windshield, computer screen, TV screen, smart phone, oven door, stove top, mirrors, tables, shelves, lighting, jars, bowls, Pyrex measuring cup, glass baking dish, greenhouse, architectural structures, optical glass in microscope, beakers, vials, solar panels, wind turbines, glass ornaments, lampworked glass animals, fused glass bowl, fused and slumped glass art.]
Without glass we’d be living in dark homes with no TV or smart phones!
© Copyright 2021, Stacey Dennick. All rights reserved.