Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What Scientific Oddity Linked These Two People,

over 400 years ago?

Prince Rupert of Bavaria,

and King Charles the Second?

of all things these strange looking glass tadpoles, that have been fascinating scientists for over 400 years, they were a gift from Prince Rupert of Bavaria to King Charles the Second, the thing that makes them so special is that the large end will withstand the blow of a hammer

and they are so strong they can even be shot at with a bullet and still suffer no side effects, sometimes even shattering the bullet!

but put pressure on the tail and and they will shatter, well, like glass into dust, in 1994, researchers used high-speed photography to record and analyse the way the drops shatter, Lisa Zyga reports for They concluded that the surface of the drop has high compressive stress while the interior of the drops is under high tension, while that combo makes the head very strong, it’s not in equilibrium, which means even a slight disruption at the tail causes the whole thing to destabilising and fall apart, in fact, the cracks move at 4,000 miles per hour, which pulverises the glass, 

but it wasn’t until recent technological advances, however, that could researchers examine the stress distribution in detail, they used a transmission polariscope, a type of microscope to study the tensions within the glass, by sending red LED light through the drop while it was submerged in a clear liquid, they could measure how stresses in the drop slowed down the light, giving them a rainbow-colored optical map of the forces within the drop, using mathematical models they then calculated the various interior and exterior forces, the researchers published their results last year in the journal Applied Physics Letters, so finally the secret of Prince Rupert’s drops was known, amazing, and why is this so important? aAndrew Liszewski at Gizmodo reports, learning about the drops could lead to new types of shatterproof glass and, most importantly, un-crackable cell phone screens.   

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