Why Glasses are Transparent?

why glass is transparent

Hey friends, i'm sure you too are curious to know about this invisible property of glass.

So in today's article let us see through

to find a clear answer, to a solid question.

glass is crystal clear

Glass despite being crystal clear we see its presence everywhere! 

Right from the window of your houses, to the specs you wear, to scientific tools to see beyond the horizon and so on.

glass is revolutionary invention

In all sense, glass is a highly revolutionary invention that transformed the world.

So before we peek through its translucent quality, let us first learn about its structure and where it comes from. 

Silicon dioxide

To know that, we need to go deep inside the earth to its crust. where silicon and oxygen react together to form silicon dioxide. 

quartz basic ingredient of glass

And the molecules of this mixture come together to create a regular crystalline form called Quartz

The main ingredient you will find in most types of glass. 

quartz at high temperature

molecules of quartz

You see when we burn the quartz at a high temperature, the heat energy puts pressure on the molecular chain of silicon dioxide, to break them apart and convert them into flowing liquid. 

And when this liquid silicon dioxide cools down again, it does not transform into a solid crystal again. 

amorphous solid

That's because as the molecules lose energy. They are unable to move into an ordered position and form a chain as it used to be before, and convert into something called Amorphous solid

amorphous solid

A material with a disordered composition of a liquid. Which allows the molecules to fill any microscopic gaps. 

This makes the surface of the glass uniform. Allowing light to pass through it, without getting scattered in different directions.

But the vital question is! How does the light pass through it? 

Well to find the answer, we need to dig deeper into the glass to observe the subatomic structure of silicon dioxide. 

As we know atoms are made of a nucleus in the centre, surrounded by electrons orbiting around it. 

energy gap between electron

But what most of us don't know is that an atom is mostly empty, and there is plenty of gap or Energy Gap in between the orbits of electrons. 


And in the subatomic structure of Silicon Dioxide, Energy gaps are high enough for electrons to jump into excited state by getting absorbed photons. So in this case they are not observed. 

And thus photon or light pass through the atomic structure of glass, without getting absorbed by electrons. 

transparent nature of glass

And that's why, the glass looks transparent. 

It Might you are thinking! Then Why do other objects look Opaque and not Transparent?

why other objects opaque?

Well that's because the Energy Gaps between the electrons of an opaque object are close enough. 

Electron in these energy gaps jump into higher energy level by absorbing the photons and do not allow the light to pass through it.

Making the object look opaque. 

Time to know some interesting facts about Glass!

glass forming by lightning

Did you know! glass can be formed by lightning. 

Yes because of the high temperature, glass can naturally form when sand is struck by lightning. 

speed when glass breaks

Also another amazing fact about glass is that! 

When it breaks, the cracks can move at the speed of 3,000 Miles per hour.

speed comparison between glass and aeroplane

Which is 5 times faster than the average aeroplane which travels at 575 Miles per hour.

Ooh!! that could be dangerous.

Also, The “Portland Vase” One of the Most Valuable Glass Art Pieces in the World which is made up glass.

Experts estimate that the Portland Vase was made in Rome between AD 5 and AD 25 . In these days The Vase is in the British Museum, where it has been for over 200 years.

Hope you learned something new in today's article

Hope you learned something new from today's article.

To know more intresting things and facts about your surroundings and space. Follow our page and share if you want others also know these facts and figures .

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