[Image above] Credit: Edgar Zanotto, YouTube

If you’re a glass scientist you understand basic concepts of glass transition, glass relaxation, and crystallization. But if you’re a student studying chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science, or glass and ceramics, initially the concepts may not be as easy to grasp. For the rest of us non-scientists, and especially right-brained people—well, let’s just say that we really do try hard to comprehend glass science concepts!

And if you’re Edgar Zanotto, you want to make sure that all of your students understand these concepts. Zanotto is professor of materials science and engineering at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. He is also director of the São Carlos Center of Research, Technology and Education in Vitreous Materials (CeRTEV).

Zanotto teaches a graduate-level course, “Fundamentals of the Vitreous State” at the university. He realized that some of the concepts he was teaching in his class needed a more basic explanation—especially the phenomenon of glass transition. “Even my scientist colleagues sometimes have a hard time in understanding this concept,” he writes in an email.

So Zanotto became a video producer. Well, he produced a video with the help of students and colleagues that visually illustrates the subtle concepts of glass transition, relaxation, and crystallization. With a dose of humor.

Titled “The Glass Transition Unveiled,” the video explains glass transition, relaxation, and crystallization in five theatrical acts.

  • Act I: Liquid
  • Act 2: Supercooled liquid
  • Act 3: Glass
  • Act 4: Supercooled liquid (after relaxation)
  • Act 5: Crystal

According to Zanotto, the video is “intended to be helpful and educative to chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering students that are interested in glasses and glass-ceramics.”

And maybe helpful to us non-scientists too. Zanotto adds jokingly, “The 2017 class will never forget what the glass transition is!”

Watch the video below and see if you better understand the glass structure concepts depicted in the video. And if you can, then the video has done its job!

Credit: Edgar Zanotto, CeRTEV, YouTube

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