Last Updated: Nov 22, 2016     Views: 38

From Dr. Robert Brill, Research Scientist Emeritus:

There are several sorts of laboratory tests that can be done on early glasses, but whether or not they are useful and applicable in any particular situation depends upon:

(1) -- what type of glass one is dealing with,

(2) -- what kind of information is being sought,

(3) -- what other sorts of information and background information are available,

(4) -- what facilities are available,

        etc., etc., etc.

"Laboratory testing" can be as simple as ultraviolet fluorescence examination, or specific gravity measurements -- or it can be as complicated as chemical analysis and isotope analyses.

In any event, no laboratory data are useful for answering most questions without having someone at hand who is acquainted with the sort of glass in question and experienced at evaluating the evidence obtained.  

There is no one magic scientific method for telling us everything we want to know about every piece of glass.  (Actually, the experienced human eye comes closest to being able to do that.)