Scientists have discovered a new form of matter: liquid glass

Researchers from the University of Constance (Germany) have been able to simulate the structure and behavior of a new form of matter. It got the name “liquid glass” because it consists of this material, but behaves differently than the hard glass we are used to. Scientists believe that the reason is hitherto unknown aspects of particle physics, because of which they form an intermediate form between liquid and crystal.


The fact that glass mass is not a solid has been known for a long time. If we look at how the transition from liquid form of matter to solid takes place using the example of the same water, then we will see a clear ordered process. At the point with the lowest temperature, crystals begin to form, which line up one after another in a lattice, gradually occupying the entire volume of the material. In the case of glass, everything is different – the crystal lattice is not formed, there is no order, the particles simply freeze in their places.

Particles in liquid glass do not lose their mobility; they can move in different directions. But at the same time, the entire mass of particles retains a strict orientation in one direction, as if they are attracted by a certain magnet, although there is no magnetic field. However, the effect of this unknown force is so great that it stretches the particles, making them look like fibers in colloids. It was the use of a colloidal suspension that allowed scientists to obtain a model of liquid glass.

For some unknown reason, particles in liquid glass cannot form a crystal; the substance is in an intermediate, “suspended” state. Because of this, its behavior and properties become almost unpredictable. As well as there is no answer why particles generally take such a shape – in the course of research it was selected experimentally, after many failed attempts. How similar processes occur in nature, so far, too, remains a riddle.

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