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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
    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
    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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