Glass is a shapeless solid that has been in existence for thousands of years in the guise of various different forms. It has been made by humans since 12,000 BC. There has been a debate about glass’ status as a liquid or a solid. But the general consensus is that glass is considered a highly cooled liquid. This means that glass is static and firm but it is does not change in the molecular level whether melting or solidifying into a particular shape. Glass is considered a substance with one of the most number of uses because it can be used for many different things and applications. It is also available in many different forms. One can get clear glass, tinted glass, tempered glass – the different types are so many.
Glass can occur in nature when some conditions are met. For example, rocks that have a high silica content will turn into glass if it melts at high temperatures and then is suddenly cooled down before it has a chance to form a crystalline structure. One example of a naturally occurring glass is obsidian or volcanic glass. Another way glass can naturally occur is when lightning strikes a beach where the sand is rich in silicates.
Glass that is artificially made (manufactured by humans) is usually composed of three ingredients – soda, lime and silica. Other ingredients are sometimes added in order to cloud the glass or to give it color. The ingredients are heated to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit or 982 degrees Celsius. The fused liquid that results from the melting process is poured into molds or blown to achieve different shapes. It is then cooled, which results in a strong substance that has minimal conducting abilities. Because glass does not interact with any kind of substance or material, glass containers are used in laboratories in order to eliminate any kind of accidental chemical reactions. The very low conductivity is also the reason why glass is used as an insulator in power lines.