A Train Station Thing...

Why Is There Glass?

Greetings again all. One of the neatest things I have ever witnessed was in a train station in Montreal, Canada. Just sitting there on a bench, watching the people go by, and waiting for a train.

Well, the station was lined all around with many shops selling many things. You name it, you could find it there. Some of the shops had wooden doors or doors combined with metal and glass for entry -- almost ALL had big plate glass windows for window shoppers. Just 'normale'.

One shop in particular caught my eye, as the plate glass went all the way from the top of the shop to the floor or level on the outside. One side full glass, an indented door, and the other side full glass. This shop sold things like chairs, etc. that had to sit on a floor -- thus, no shelving and that sort of thing where the glass might be raised above the floor level. And, THIS glass was kept what I call 'air-cleaned'...you couldn't even notice that it was there. But ONE gentleman found out...

As I was watching, a gentleman stopped about ten feet away from the front of the store, perused the contents, and proceeded briskly to the store --- just to bounce right into the left pane of glass. So 'air-cleaned', that he didn't even notice that it was there and probably thought that it was just a walk-in shop.

When he hit the front panel, he rebounded and stopped for a second. All was quiet when suddenly, the WHOLE pane shattered and fell. Needless to say, quite upsetting but thankfully, no one injured in that.

I was amazed and taken aback for sure, as anyone would. But then I got thinking about what had happened...the contact this gentleman made with the large pane was enough to get it vibrating in a wavey motion enough to overcome the forces that held it together. And when it reached that point, the vibration was enough to separate it into uncountable pieces.

What IS glass? I assume some would think that it is a solid but in reality, it's a super-cooled liquid at room temperature. It is formed in high heat as a liquid, then cooled into shapes. But it is STILL a liquid, much similar to an ice cube. Ever take a really froze ice cube and drop it into a medium warm or cool drink? You'll notice the cube will crack and snap. This is due to different surface temperature gradients from the cube and the liquid -- the liquid is warmer and will expand the surface of the cube, creating surface pressure that is greater than the internal pressure of the cube.

One neat thing about glass and that it's a liquid -- researchers have noticed that the glass in ancient structures is thicker on the bottom of the window pane than the top, verifying that glass is a liquid and will flow. Takes some time, yes, but it will flow -- molecule by molecule.

heh -- Hope this is not time well-wasted! Oh -- another experiment. If you take a diet and regular pop or 'soda' in cans, place them in a jug of water, which one will float and why?

hehe -- Thanks for the fun and stay tuned....

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