International Materials Institute
for New Functionality in Glass

Glass Education for Students, Teachers & General Public

Glass Education & Videos

Below is a collection of glass related information and video clips that we have prepared and collected for the general science enthusiast. This also includes material provided by other researchers and links to other great resources available on the web. Let us know if you have other good resources to add!

Sugar Glass - Exploring glass science through hard candy

Sugar Glass

The materials below are designed to provide a low-cost, hands-on approach to exploring aspects of real material science, focusing on glass science. One of our favorite glass materials is candy glass, an unflavored variety of "hard candy". This can be made from common kitchen ingredients including cane sugar (sucrose), corn syrup and water. The experiment introduces 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. Click to View Video>
Our emphasis is on learning science through participation with materials and experiments. While our hands-on activities are all designed to be low-cost, they still capture real material science principles and remain open-ended. Some of our more advanced experiments include the using simple micro-controllers and electronic ICs to build powerful instruments for measurement and control.

Educational Resources for Teachers

Teacher Workshop: Candy Glass Workshop as undertaken at the 2012 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Meeting. Includes links to general information; discussion slides; experiments & procedures; other related home-built glass science

Introduction to Glass and Sugar Glass Experiments

How to Make Candy Glass - with Simple Recipe

Experiments with Candy and Candy Glass

Refractive Index of Sugar Glass

General Experiments:

Fiber Drawing and Related Experiments:

Refractive Index and Density Experiments:

Crystallization in Glass Experiments:

Thermal Analysis and Glass Transition Experiments:

Home built DTA with both heating and cooling option.

Electrical Conductivity and Glass Transition:

Other useful links:
"Edible Glass" : link to educational pages from Cornell website.

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 fractureand discussed strengthening through ion exchange methods.
  • 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 University

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

Museum of Glass

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

Other interesting links

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