We are finally getting closer to solving the mystery of the perplexing power of glass

Windowpen or mess can disintegrate quite easily, but if we consider its molecular make-up, solid glass is much stiffer and stronger than it should be technically.

Now, scientists have come closer to revealing the source of this secret power.

Despite the lack of a traditionally mandated structure, using a newly developed computer model to find out how molecular particles can hold glass together, a new study notes that these particles can force the backbone before the glass cools completely. Unstable, viscous state.

Calculations show that the skeletons of the stress particles inside the viscous glass successfully met the percussion threshold – the point at which the network of these particles is strong enough to support the material and keep it strong.

When a granular substance is very compressed it becomes solid – consider compacting a grain of sand, for example – researchers describe the resulting solid as a ‘jammed system’. These systems have little in common with what happens in cooling glass, and the team used their computer model to compare the two.

“At zero temperature, a jammed system will show long-term relationships in stress due to its internal percolating network,” says Hua Tong, a physicist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

“This simulation showed that the same is true before the glass cools completely.”

Glass is part of a group of amorphous solids that, although strong in cold form, lack the usual long-distance order and lattice pattern in their molecules and molecules.

Instead, a small fraction of the overall particle, from a microscopic point of view, takes the tension between general chaos and clutter. However, those force-assuming particles need to be highly dispersed or percut by the material first, and this study highlights how percussion occurs as the material passes through the glass transition.

The particles of this complex network must be connected by at least two strong bonds, scientists explain, forming a single point network that connects the entire system together – even if most of the atomic configurations are disjointed.

Glass is the most interesting material for scientists, not least because it varies greatly depending on whether it is heated or cooled. It can also represent a new state of matter at very low temperatures.

Studies have also shown a glass that apparently discredits the law of thermodynamics, confusing scientific predictions about how it should behave in certain conditions. All of these findings are about the study of glass, not just glass, but what we understand to be true in physics.

Developing a tougher, stiffer and longer-lasting glass is useful in all types of products, from cookware to smartphones, and researchers are hoping that their findings will lead to new, practical innovations for this material, as well as more detailed lab tests.

“Our findings could pave the way for a better understanding of amorphous solids from a mechanical point of view,” says Hajime Tanaka, a physicist at the University of Tokyo.

Research has been published in Nature Communications.