Is glass a solid, or is it a liquid?

Is glass a solid, or is it a liquid?” – random customer.

I have this asked of me at least once a year. And I have done the research on it to make sure that I can answer the question.

Short answer: Both? Glass doesn’t fit nicely into either category.

Some of its properties make it look as a VERY slow flowing liquid (as in it would take approximately 1 million years for it to flow a very small amount of distance). And then some properties it has make it out to be an amorphous solid (google the term it will do a much better job explaining it than I can here).

“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 that is neither liquid nor solid.” -from (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/Glass/glass.html)

So I say glass is glass, I work to get it installed where you need it, and trying to put it into a state of matter category is for the scientists to argue about for many years to come.

Thanks for tuning in!

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