States of Matter: Amorphous Solids

A woth-to-read article about amorphous solids.

For Science!

At some point during your science studies, you would have been introduced to the idea of The Three States of Matter: solid, liquid, and gas. As you may have realised when thinking about, for example, the melting of glass, or contemplating the nature of a flame, this three state model doesn’t tell the whole story. Solid, liquid, and gas are more like three categories into which more specific states of matter fit. This series explores some of these states which perhaps don’t seem to fit neatly into the three states model as you may have learned it.

There is a pervasive, persistent, and entirely incorrect idea that glass is an extremely high viscosity liquid. The reason this comes about makes a certain amount of sense: glass has the same chemical composition as crystalline quartz, but has a liquid-like lack of long-range order.

The associated claim that glass does flow over…

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