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Sea Glass

>> Monday, May 19, 2008

The video I have been working on now is entitled "Sea Glass." While there is not too much science behind sea glass (except the small amount I could come up with for my 5 minute video) there is a lot of neat things to know about glass. For starters, a main component of glass is silica. Silica is commonly found on certain types of beaches. Those in Florida and along the gulf have lots of silica in the sand. Here in the VI, our sand is predominantly parrotfish poo, so we are less likely to make glass from it!

While silica is what makes glass.. well, glass, many other things are added to it to make it easier to turn into different types of glass. For example, boron is added to silica in Pyrex and lab glass. This makes the glass resistant towards heat changes. Lead is added to silica for "sparkle" and most everyday glass is soda-lime glass: a mixture of silica, sodium bicarbonate, and limestone.

Glass is believed to have come to humans around 3500 BC and since then, we have done tons of things with it. We have art, really AMAZING art, done in glass. Science labs everywhere use glass. Glass protects us from the elements, enables us to see, keeps the rain from our faces while we drive, stores our wine, and cooks our casseroles. You would be surprised how glass affects our everyday lives. There would be no light bulbs without it. No microscopes or telescopes. The glass would never be half empty or half full if it never existed!

For more about the history of glass check out this history of glass.

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