Scientists Accidentally Created The World’s Thinnest Glass

Some of the world’s most life-changing inventions were created by accident. Amongst other things, this includes Penicillin, the Pacemaker, Post-It notes, microwave ovens, ink-jet printers and even potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. Now we can add another thing to that list of innovations that were accidentally created, and that would be the world’s thinnest glass.

This glass is only 2 atoms thick. Considering that about 10 million atoms can fit in a line across a pencil eraser, this glass seems almost too thin to exist. You’ll see this glass listed as the world’s thinnest glass in the 2014 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Apparently glass can act like a solid or a liquid, so it may not look like you are expecting it to look. This particular glass acts like a solid but looks like a liquid.

This accidental discovery was made by the scientists at Cornell and Germany’s University of Ulm. According to Science World Report:

“The pane of the glass is so thin that its individual silicon and oxygen atoms are clearly visible with the use of electron microscopy. The scientists think the glass formed when an air leak caused the copper to react with the quartz. This created silicon and oxygen, producing the glass layer on the would-be-pure graphene. They had created the world’s thinnest layer of glass.”

According to one of the researchers on the project, David A. Muller, this is the first time anyone has ever been able to see atoms in glass. So what will the world’s thinnest glass be used for? Aside from using it to learn more about glass, no uses are planned at this time. I can’t even imagine what a piece of glass that thin would look like!

The World’s Thinnest Glass Isn’t Really A Liquid Or A Solid


Via: [Discovery News]