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Cracking the Glass Problem

A simple question about glass leads to a complex challenge for researchers

Can Patrick Charbonneau crack the glass problem? He is certainly trying (and not just with the breakaway glass stunt he performs in this video)!

Charbonneau, an associate professor of chemistry at Duke, is a member of the Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem: a team of experts from around the world trying to solve the material mysteries of glasses.

Glasses are not standard solids, since their components (molecules) are not arranged in a well-ordered pattern (as they would be in a typical crystalline structure). Instead, glasses look like liquids, with their components being disorderly arranged. Glasses are therefore amorphous solids.

Charbonneau’s research could answer fundamental questions about this essential and ubiquitous class of materials.

Video by Veronique Koch