Humans have been making and using glass for thousands of years, and nature has been making glass for even longer. Fast forward to the 21st century, and humans are still producing, using, and benefiting from glass daily. From the glass we drink out of to the glass we peer out of and everything in between, glass is an integral part of our daily lives. But how much do we really know about glass?
Here are 10 interesting facts about glass to up your knowledge about one of the materials you use every day.
1. Glass is Made from Sand
To produce glass, sand is mixed with lime and soda ash and heated at extremely high temperatures. After the liquid mixture cools back down, the result is glass.
2. Adding Minerals to Glass Changes its Color
Combining other minerals with the sand, lime, and soda ash can result in different colored glass. For example, adding nickel oxide to the mix produces violet glass.
3. Glass Can Be Formed by Lightening
Because of the high temperatures, glass can naturally form when sand is struck by lightening.
4. When Glass Breaks, the Cracks Move at 3000mph
That’s 5 times faster than the average airplane, which travels at 575mph!
5. Glass Windows Were Invented in the 17th Century
Before that, people made windows out of flattened animal horn.
6. Glass is Not a Solid
Despite what you may think, glass is not classified as a solid… or a liquid or a gas. When cooled, glass forms an “amorphous solid” that allows molecules within the glass to continue moving around.
7. The “Portland Vase” is One of the Most Valuable Glass Art Pieces in the World
Experts estimate that the Portland Vase was made sometime between AD 5 and AD 25 in Rome. The Vase is currently in the British Museum, where it has been for over 200 years.
8. Glass is 100% Recyclable
Glass can be recycled endlessly without losing any quality or purity.
9. Volcanic Lava Can Turn into Glass
Obsidian, a type of natural glass, can form when hot lava cools quickly after being expelled from a volcano.
10. Glass Can Take 1 Million Years to Decompose
Durable and resilient, glass is one of the longest lasting man-made materials.
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