Science of Glass
Science of Glass
Ancient history to extraordinary possibility
Gone are the days when glass was fragile. Gone is the age when glass was used only to contain. Today — in the Glass Age— glass is versatile, flexible, and strong. Glass moves information at the speed of light. Glass enables devices that are as sophisticated as they are beautiful. Glass transforms everyday surfaces and provides extraordinary benefits. Discover how the technical properties of glass are changing the world.
2016-2017 Glass Age Scholar
When Henry Herbol looks at glass, he sees a world of possibilities.
“It’s such a versatile material,” he says. “Just by changing the composition or the way you process it, you get vastly different properties you never knew before. That’s what’s so exciting about it.”
Henry’s passion for glass and its secrets won him a year-long stint as Corning’s 2016-2017 Glass Age Scholar.
2015-2016 Glass Age Scholar: Mengyi Wang
Mengyi Wang is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Physics of Amorphous and Inorganic Solids Laboratory (PARISlab) at the University of California, Los Angeles – she is the 2015-2016 Glass Age Scholar. Wang was selected for her academic research proposal, which spanned multiple areas of interest to the glass science industry, as part of Corning’s Glass Age Scholarship Program. She will be working collaboratively with Corning Incorporated scientists and UCLA engineers to continue research in glass science and highlight the importance of research at the academic level.
Optical Fiber: Glass that Connects the World
The notion of sending data through hair-thin strands of glass was revolutionary less than 50 years ago. Today, barely a moment goes by that we’re not in some way influenced by the power of optical fiber networks.
How did glass become the medium that harnessed light and transformed modern communications?
It’s a story of relentless experimentation that pushed the boundaries of materials science. It also shows the creative, human side of glass science – like using an old vacuum cleaner to create a groundbreaking new process.
The lab discoveries of the 1960s led directly to the remarkable optical communications milestones in the years that followed. Today, the speed and capacity of optical fiber remains unmatched in communications networks around the world.
The Secret of Tough Glass: Ion Exchange
How can today’s high-tech glass – found on smartphones, elevator walls, public kiosks, and more — be so tough that it withstands all the dropping, scratching, and splattering of everyday life? Part of the answer lies in the ion-exchange process.
Glass Continues Its Role in the World of New Medicines
For centuries, glass has been an indispensable laboratory partner for chemists and research scientists. So important were glass vessels in lab experiments that in the years before mass production, chemists frequently did double-duty as glassblowers, creating their own labware for measuring, mixing, and storing chemicals.