Glass Education & Videos


Below is a list of glass related information and video clips that we have prepared and collected to for the general science enthusiast.  Some of the material we have prepared, some has been provided by other researchers and some are simply links to other great resources we have found on the web.  Please let us know if you have other good resources to add.


Sugar Glass - Exploring glass science through hard candy

The materials below can provide the student with a variety of opportunities to explore aspects of glass science through a experiments with candy glass, an unflavored variety of the familiar “hard candy”.  The candy is made from common kitchen ingredient including cane sugar (sucrose), corn syrup and water.  The experiment introduce the student to properties of the glass state, how to make their own glass-like materials and interesting experiments from fiber pulling to refractive index, from crystallization kinetics to measiring the glass transition temperature by thermal analysis - all from the kitchen lab.

Intro to Glass and Sugar Glass Experiments

            ( video of lecture with candy glass making and fiber pulling activity
             by Bill Heffner, IMI-NFG, Aug. 2007)

`           Sugar Glass demo      (46 minutes, real media video file)

How to Make Candy Glass - with Simple Recipe 

            (pdf by Bill Heffner, IMI-NFG )

            Candy glass recipe & instructions

            Making Sugar Glass at home Video (Bill Heffner) (new 2008)

            Candy Glass at the University Lecture (H. Jain)


More on Candy Glass

            Learning the Principles of Glass Science from Candy Making

            (a ppt of experiment by Himanshu and Isha Jain)

             Sugar glass fiber drawing video  (requires real player) 

This is a short video on drawing glassy fibers from candy made from sucrose, corn syrup and water.  The video emphasizes the importance of having the right temperature to draw fibers. 

Fiber Drawing Presentation - including a Core-Clad Double Crucible Method

            (ppt with video by Tara Schneider, IMI REU 2005)

Measuring Refractive index of Candy Glass

            (ppt with video by Tara Schneider, IMI REU 2005)

Measuring Densities of Candy Glassess

            (pdf with video by Sean Kelly, IMI REU 2006)

A study of Crystallization of Sugar Glasses           

            This pdf shows how the proportion of sucrose to corn syrup
            effects the tendency of a sugar glass to crystallize.
Surface Crystallization Rate of Sugar Glasses      
(student presentation)

            A quantitative experiment for the home or high school lab.

            This student’s presentation on her Sugar Crystallization Project won awards
            at the 2007 Pennsylvania Jr. Academy of Science as well as the Delaware
            Valley Science Fair

A Crystallization Primer - with Nucleation and Growth  (new 2008)

            A pdf by Bill Heffner on the basic concepts  

Home Built Temperature Controlled Chamber (new 2008)

A low cost apparatus for temperature control made forma light bulb, coffee cans and a dimmer switch enable students to perform a variety of experiments.

Study of Nucleation of Sugar Crystals from Molten Candy Glass (new 2008)

A student presentation from 2008 science competition at PA Jr. Academy of Science

Home Built DTA for Measuring Glass Transition  (new 2008)

            A quantitative experiment for the home or high school lab

HowToBuild a DTA  Apparatus - Part 1 (pdf) (new 2008)

            A more lengthy description of how to build the DTA as well as some results for a stearic acid reference sample and the Tg of some candy glass samples.

The Glass Transition and the DTA   (in preparation)  (new 2008)


Glass Fracture - Understanding the science around us

From broken windows to auto crash scenes, most of us already have observed some of the unique features characteristic of the “glass fracture”.   In the materials below explores and explains some of these familiar observations as well as some of the techniques that scientists are using to improve the strength and safety of glass.


Glass Fracture from Sandia Labs

Sandia Presentation on Glass Fracture and Strengthening

by Dr. Jill Glass, Sandia Laboratories

This pdf presentation illustrates example of glass fracture and discussed strengthening through ion exchange methods. 

Glass fracture videos from Sandia:

SandiaVideo - bending plate

This video provides a powerful illustration of the enormous improvement in strength (and flexural extent) possible from modifying the glass surface.  This video was provided by Jill Glass of Sandia National Laboratories. 

Exploding window Video - Sandia

This video illustrated the danger one faces from a simple glass window during an explosion and the highlights the concern for improving the way ion which glass fractures.

The video was made at New Mexico Tech for Sandia National Laboratories.


Glass Fracture from Penn State

Some interesting information on brittle fracture can be found on Penn State University website of David Green at:

PSU video of cracks forming glass surface during flex testing

(This link from Prof. Green’s website requires QuickTime™ Player )


Rupert's drop - This video from Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA provides a dramatic example of how pre-stressing a glass surface through rapid quenching can produce amazing phenomena. The Corning Museum of Glass also have a great descriptive page entitled Prince Rupert's Drop and Glass Stress .


International Collaboration on Glass Mechanics (ICGM)

Glass Strength and Flaws and ICGM site by C.R.'Chuck' Kurkjian 

provides a nice paper presented by Kurkjian and W.R. (Bill) Prindle at the 1st International Congress on Ceramics in Toronto, Canada in June 2006.  It provides a personal view of some history of glass mechanics as well as a 'roadmap' for stronger glass.  Link to Kurkjian’s history paper


Glass making at Penn State (by Carlo Pantano, link to be provided shortly)


Return to IMI Home Page                              Learning Library Page            ver 091908