Is glass a solid or a liquid?

This is an honest answer. I heard that glass can’t be really considered a solid because it has certain properties that solids don’t. For example if you were to leave a glass pane standing upright for a few hundred years the bottom of the glass pane will be thicker than the top of the pane. As if the glass was slowly oozing down.

  1. Someone
    on November 30th, -0001

    solid

  2. Green
    on November 30th, -0001

    You ever heard of plasma? Glass could be considered like plasma, or a solid, or a liquid.

  3. WhoLeOw
    on November 30th, -0001

    its because sand and limestone is heated to become a liquid and then sets to become glass and it will only reliquidise if its in high temperatures. so no it wont be thicker at the bottom after a hundred years unless its in a hot area

  4. WildFlower
    on November 30th, -0001

    Jeez now i have to think about my chemistry classes. I do beleive it is considered a liquid because it jeez i cant remember. But it is a liquid….

  5. Aravis
    on November 30th, -0001

    when glass is ‘glass’ it’s in a solid state of course but when its heated, its liquid. simple science

  6. BlingBling
    on November 30th, -0001

    solid man..most of the properties show it.

  7. RainDrop
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass behaves more like a solid becuase it can’t conform to any shape like a liquid can.

  8. YvY
    on November 30th, -0001

    It’s a super-cooled liquid.

  9. Rob
    on November 30th, -0001

    Solid

  10. HahaYouNoob
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass display both properties of solids and liquids. While it is rigid and has a constant volume and shape (for the most part) the molecules that is composed of are not as closely held together as other solids, for example plastic. These molecules have more available space to move, thus the glass molecules, over time, will have shifted to the bottom

  11. Jake
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass is an amorphous solid, so it does flow a bit, like the old glass example you mentioned (although I’ve heard that before too, I haven’t seen a reliable source that substantiates this claim). You can melt amorphous solids but they lack sharply defined melting points and density changes like crystalline solids do, and they have no latent heat of fusion. Amorphous solids differ from crystalline solids in that they lack an ordered arrangement of the molecules; they are random similar to a liquid. Only certain types of materials form amorphous solids (e.g. glass, plastic).

    In a nutshell, glass is neither a solid or a liquid — it’s an amorphous solid.

  12. BlingBling
    on November 30th, -0001

    Yes, glass is a super-cooled form of silica.A supercooled liquid is a metastable liquid that has been cooled below its melting point (Tm) but not below the temperature at which a dynamic arrest occurs (i.e., the glass-transition temperature, Tg).

  13. rodi
    on October 19th, 2010

    I really need help with my homework, I need to find a solid liquid or a gas, that acts like one of those which it isn’t.
    Please help!

  14. Nick Gilbert
    on November 7th, 2010

    The fact that glass is thicker at the bottom in panes of ancient cathedral glass because it has “flowed” or altered shape over time is a myth. The glass was asymmetrical at the time of installation due to the method of manufacture and the thickest side was installed at the bottom for stability. Occasionally panes have been found which are thicker at the top due to a mistake by the installer. Nobody has ever observed glass to flow over time (it may bend to a point, but then it will stop – just as metal would). See wikipedia’s entry on “glass” for more details or sources.

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Is glass a solid or a liquid?

Seriously…I think window panes get larger at the bottom as they age. is the glass then “flowing” towards gravity?

  1. BurningBiker
    on November 30th, -0001

    The glass is a supercooled liquid, that’s why the windows panes get larget at the botom.

  2. LighteningBolt
    on November 30th, -0001

    solid.

    its not “flowing” its creeping. creep is deformation over time due to gravity.

  3. Dex
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass actually does flow with time; my science teacher told us all about it. Istill think it’s classifird as a solid though.

  4. CatNap
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass is a solid. A solid is a state of matter, characterized by a definite volume and a definite shape (i.e. it resists deformation). Within a solid, atoms/molecules are relatively close together, or “rigid”; however, this does not prevent the solid from becoming deformed or compressed. In the solid phase of matter, atoms have a fixed spatial ordering; because all matter has some kinetic energy, the atoms in even the most rigid solid move slightly, but this movement is “invisible”.

  5. Highway
    on November 30th, -0001

    liquid with extremely slow rate of creep.

  6. Highway
    on November 30th, -0001

    Both.

    Most times it is best to think of it as a solid, but there are certain situations were it is okay to think of it as a liquid.

  7. FuzzyFerret
    on November 30th, -0001

    all matter can be solids, liquids, and gas. it depends on the temp.
    glass is however, solid at room temp. it still does creep, not flow, to the nearest source of gravity until the kinetic energy is completely used up

  8. ToxicSkull
    on November 30th, -0001

    there’s arguments for both, as glass does get thicker at the bottom of a pane over time. i think they used to hold it was a very thick liquid, but i think now reason has triumphed and its considered a solid.

  9. Style
    on November 30th, -0001

    Both, glass is known as an amorphous solid meaning that the atoms are not crystalline in structure so it is not a true solid but the atoms are not freely moving about as in a liquid so it is not a true liquid, therefore glass is both known as an amorphous solid

  10. WyleCoyote
    on November 30th, -0001

    The term for substances like glass is “amorphous solid.” By most tests it acts as a solid. It has a specific volume, will hold a shape, is rigid and will shatter. However, over long periods of time it will flow like a liquid, although it flows very slowly. If you take a tour of old buildings you can see that the windows are wavy. This is because the glass is very slowly flowing out of the frame. If you were to never replace the windows in your house, in about a hundred years the same thing would happen to them.

    A similar type of substance is a “non-Newtonian fluid.” These have some similar properties in that if you treat them one way they will act like a solid, but if you treat them in another way, they will act like a liquid. Two examples of this are Silly Putty and oobleck.

    If you stretch silly putty slowly, it will stretch into a long skinny thread. This is its more liquid behavior. If you stretch it too quickly it will cleanly break into two parts. This is its more solid behavior.

    Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water. It is messy, but easy to make and clean up. If you treat it violently it will act like a solid, but if you treat it more gently, it will flow like a liquid.

  11. SkateRForeveR
    on November 30th, -0001

    Hayden is right on da money.

  12. Fractalfallout
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass is what is know as a supercooled liquid.

  13. ontheplains
    on November 30th, -0001

    It is most certainly is a solid, since no one has been able to absolutely prove the theory that there is “flow” or “creep” in manufactured glass.

    Good examples to disprove it are numerous, such as telescope glass(over a hundred years old), old stained church glass, and Roman blown glass(thousands of years old), stone-age arrowheads(made of obsidian, an naturally-occuring glass).

    Most old buildings have windows that were made of liquid silica/lime, rolled into shape, then allowed to cool. These windows almost always have “flow marks” which are imperfections occuring during the manufacturing process.

    You may also see this on the top of a pane, as well as the bottom, and in some cases, as with blown glass and leaded glass, in many areas of the glass.

    Some people think that the reason for recaulking an old window every year is because of thickening of the window pane. But the real reason the caulk comes off is because of temperature and moisture variations on the window sash itself, and/or deterioration of the caulking material.

    It is not a super-cooled liquid. A glacier is a super-cooled liquid. If a glacier is heated just above it’s surface temperature, it will begin to melt and creep. Glass will not, as evidenced in our Chicago homes every summer.

  14. Grapes
    on November 30th, -0001

    glass is a liquid in terms of the definition a liquid in terms of molecular arrangement

  15. StarGirl
    on November 30th, -0001

    There is no “solid” answer to this question. 🙂
    The simple labels solid and liquid don’t work with glass.

    Glass flows very very (lots of verys) slowly. The story about glass windows getting thicker is a myth, based partly on old windows which just are of uneven thickness. It has been calculated that to get a window measurably thicker at the bottom would require much more time than the universe has been around, much less the window.

    Lots more about that:

    http://www.cmog.org/index.asp?pageId=745

    Glass has some properties of a liquid, some of a solid. There are good scientific reasons for calling it either one, although most find the solid label a better description and the liquid label a stretch. Scientists avoid this choice by using terms like “crystalline solid” and “glass” to distinguish glass from either solids or liquids.

    Lots more about that:

    http://www.weburbia.com/physics/glass.ht

    “In terms of molecular dynamics and thermodynamics it is possible to justify various different views that it is a highly viscous liquid, an amorphous solid or simply that glass is another state of matter which is neither liquid or solid. “

  16. NaughtyNinja
    on November 30th, -0001

    It is a liquid that flows over time. Medieval glass is thicker at the bottom than the top. Glass has no crystals it is amorphous.

  17. Cocktail
    on November 30th, -0001

    Glass is actually a liquid.
    It flows so slowly that it may take centuries to see the difference.

  18. rodi
    on October 19th, 2010

    I really need help with my homework, I need to find a solid liquid or a gas, that acts like one of those which it isn’t.
    Please help!

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