Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

20-million-year-old amber shatters theories of glass as a liquid

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
Texas Tech University
Summary:
Fact or fiction? Stained glass found in medieval cathedrals becomes thicker at the bottom because glass moves over time. For years researchers have had their doubts, now scientists have further evidence that glass is not going anywhere.

Scientists tested theories of transition of glass using 20-million-year-old Dominican fossil amber.
Credit: Image courtesy of Texas Tech University

Fact or fiction? Stained glass found in medieval cathedrals becomes thicker at the bottom because glass moves over time. For years researchers have had their doubts, now a team at Texas Tech University has further evidence that the glass is not going anywhere.

Related Articles


"Glass transition is related to the performance of materials, whether it is inorganic glass or organic polymers," said Gregory McKenna, professor of chemical engineering at Texas Tech. "For example, this would be important to people who own a boat made of fiberglass, or fly in an airplane made with epoxy-based composites. Information like that can help predict if that jet will still be flying in 30 years."

The idea for this research came from a doctoral student's qualifying exam, McKenna said. He gave Jing Zhao a problem relating to diverging time-scales using polyvinyl acetate, a substance often found in adhesives. Her results were consistent with a lack of divergence -- contrary to received thought. So they decided to up the ante by performing similar experiments on a much older, ultra-stable glass.

They chose 20-million year old Dominican amber, and together with Whitacre Department Chair and Horn Professor Sindee Simon, Zhao performed calorimetric and stress relaxation experiments on the samples.

"What we found is that the amber relaxation times did not diverge," McKenna said. "This result challenges all the classic theories of glass transition behavior."

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation under a grant from the Division of Materials Research, Polymers Program. The process and results were recently published in Nature Communications.

Meanwhile, McKenna has recently acquired additional samples from around the world, including 220-million-year-old Triassic amber from Eugenio Ragazzi, a pharmacology professor at the University of Padova in Italy. The team now has plans to perform similar experiments on the new samples.

"We are in the very early stages," McKenna said. "However, our research definitely is 'to be continued.'"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Tech University. The original article was written by Karin Slyker. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jing Zhao, Sindee L. Simon, Gregory B. McKenna. Using 20-million-year-old amber to test the super-Arrhenius behaviour of glass-forming systems. Nature Communications, 2013; 4: 1783 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2809

Cite This Page:

Texas Tech University. "20-million-year-old amber shatters theories of glass as a liquid." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507154937.htm>.
Texas Tech University. (2013, May 7). 20-million-year-old amber shatters theories of glass as a liquid. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507154937.htm
Texas Tech University. "20-million-year-old amber shatters theories of glass as a liquid." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507154937.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Newsy (Feb. 24, 2015) The "black death" that killed tens of millions of people has been blamed on rats for years, but now researchers say they may have gotten a bad rap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

AFP (Feb. 23, 2015) Two years ago a large number of manuscripts were taken from Timbuktu for safe keeping. Now the question is whether to return them. Duration: 02:50 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

Newsy (Feb. 23, 2015) A CT scan has revealed a mummified Chinese monk inside a Buddha statue. The remains date back about 1,000 years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Feb. 23, 2015) A rare First Folio discovered in a French library arrives at the Shakespeare&apos;s Globe Theatre in London, where the Bard&apos;s plays were first performed. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins