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Thread: Contrast High Viscosity Liquids and Amorphous Solids.

  1. #1 Contrast High Viscosity Liquids and Amorphous Solids. 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    I've been puzzle by the difference when I heard that glass was a liquid with a high viscosity by my science teach and looked it up just to find out that it was an amorphous solid. After thinking somewhat hard about it, I couldn't figure out what the difference was.

    BTW, when I say high viscosity, I mean VERY high viscosity. And where's the line drawn at?


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Not sure these are the right answers, but

    I'd thought high viscosity is due to large free molecules getting mechanically hung up on each other. Chewing gum is a nice example, as it has spring shaped molecules and you can imagine how slowly all those tangled springs must wend apart. Obviously vibrating them (heat) helps a lot.

    An amorphous solid is just a non-crystalline solid. The bonds are random so tiny local fractures constantly flicker through the mass. At any moment you could have a bond, but that breaks another bond, and so forth. Overall though it is solid with practically zero net movement and it's actually much less brittle than a uniform lattice.


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