Last Updated: Aug 02, 2017     Views: 232


The common glasses we see in items such as bottles and window panes are made mainly from three crystalline materials: crushed white sand; crushed limestone; and sodium carbonate. Small amounts of other additives are used to improve the glass quality, but these three are the principle elements.

In a factory where items such as bottles are made, these three ingredients are blended and heated for extended periods of time in order to form the transparent material we call glass. The temperature involved is in the neighborhood of 2500° F. and the residence time of glass in a furnace may be as much as 24 hours. These conditions are necessary because glass is a viscous material even at high temperatures. Thus it takes a long time to rid the glass of small bubbles.

Below is some information that you should find useful considering your question from the text "The properties of Glass by George Morey":

Most Glasses may be regarded as composed of oxides, and the possibility of glass formation may be intimately connected with the oxygen atoms. Oxygen itself is thought to be highly viscous at its melting point, and it is not improbable that it could be obtained as glass by proper manipulation. The outstanding glass forming oxides are : boric acid, silica, and phosphorous pentaoxide.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, an Oxide is:

Oxide, any of a large and important class of chemical compounds in which oxygen is combined with another element. With the exception of the lighter inert gases (helium [He], neon [Ne], argon [Ar], and krypton [Kr]), oxygen (O) forms at least one binary oxide with each of the elements.

Elements are composed of atoms in particular combinations, here is some information on the atom according to Encyclopedia Britannica:

Atom, smallest unit into which matter can be divided without the release of electrically charged particles. It also is the smallest unit of matter that has the characteristic properties of a chemical element. As such, the atom is the basic building block of chemistry.

Most of the atom is empty space. The rest consists of a positively charged nucleus of protons and neutrons surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is small and dense compared with the electrons, which are the lightest charged particles in nature. Electrons are attracted to any positive charge by their electric force; in an atom, electric forces bind the electrons to the nucleus.

Various glass compositions are made up combinations elements and oxides, and the atomic structure of those elements and oxides is at the root of the matter.

There are some glasses that block Blue Light, those with an orange tint. As far as different interactions with atoms... you may want to ask a materials scientist this question as the Rakow Library focuses more on the History of and various art forms of glass rather than the technical aspects.

The article, What is Glass, has more information on the composition and state of glass. 

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