Unbreakable Glass and Harry Potter Levitation

What if we could have glass stronger than aluminum? What if we had unbreakable glass?

We would have safer cars, safer buildings, and better smart-phone covers. Imagine a world where a flying rock doesn’t even leave a mark on your windshield. Or a world where dropping your phone for the umpteenth time doesn’t even leave a chip. Scientists have long known how to make glass stronger – by adding in extra oxides. The problem, however, has always been finding a way to make the unbreakable glass so it remains transparent.

Typically, when making the glass in a container crystals would begin to form at the container walls and spread in – making the glass opaque instead of clear. That would make it pretty useless as office windows – and even more useless if we tried to put them in cars or on phones. So how can we make unbreakable glass without a container to mix it in?

Harry Potter would have the answer. Container-less levitation.

levitating unbreakable glass

Scientists managed to levitate the mixture in a stream of oxygen allowing it to form a clear, crystal free, drop. Taking it to the next step they recently published a paper showing the transmittance properties of this levitating unbreakable glass – turns out it is perfect to see through.

transmittance of unbreakable glass

Now the next big step.

Taking unbreakable glass to the masses.

Right now researchers can only make a small quantity of unbreakable glass at a time, but they are working furiously to find a way for mass production. Who knows, by the time the next generation iPhone rolls out we might have unbreakable glass on every screen.