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If rock breaks scissors, can rock break glass?


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Seems a simple answer, doesn't it? Everyone knows that if you hit something made from glass with something hard, the glass will break. Even the hardest-headed sceptic knows that. But what if I told you that a droplet of glass, hit with a hammer wouldn't break? 

 

If I took a glass tube and heated the end so much that a drop formed on the end, then kept melting the glass the drop  would fall off like a drip from a water tap. As it fell, its surface tension would start to pull the drop into a spherical shape. If the drop didn't gall too far, then a tail would form and you would get something that looked like a tadpole.

image.thumb.jpeg.b2ecd62bb01f43c95651be89e7651ef0.jpeg

As it is falling the "tadpole" is still molten, but if it fell into a container of cold water, it would solidify very quickly, and you would actually get what you see in the picture above. Looks pretty fragile, doesn't it. But hit that tadpole's head with a hammer and it won't break. However, snap the tail off and you'll get this

image.jpeg.73d665286f772dca8578f16492523da0.jpeg

The whole thing will shatter into powdered glass in an instant.

 

These "tadpole" things are commonly called Prince Rupert's Drops, Prince Rupert of the Rhine,  brought them to England in 1660, and gave some to England's King Charles II.

 

 

 

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