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2 - WORKING WITH GLASS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2012

John H. Moore
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
Christopher C. Davis
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
Michael A. Coplan
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
Sandra C. Greer
Affiliation:
Mills College, California
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Summary

Glass has been called the miraculous material. The ubiquity of glass in the modern laboratory certainly confirms this. Because glass is chemically inert, most containers are made of it. Glass is transparent to many forms of radiation, and its transmission properties can be varied by controlling its composition; all sorts of windows and lenses are made of glass. Because glass can be polished to a high degree and is dimensionally stable, most mirrors are supported on glass surfaces. Glass is strong and stiff, and is often used as a structural material. Considering its mechanical rigidity and density, it is a reasonably good thermal insulator. It is an excellent electrical insulator. Perhaps the greatest virtue of this material is that many glasses are inexpensive and can be cut and shaped in the laboratory with inexpensive tools.

Fifty years ago, most glass laboratory apparatus was produced by the scientist or technician in situ by blowing molten glass or by grinding, cutting, and polishing hard glass. Today the glass industry has grown to such an extent that nearly all components of a glass apparatus are available from commercial sources at low cost. These include all sorts of containers, chemical labware, vacuum-system components, mirrors, windows, and lenses. It is often only necessary for laboratory scientists to acquaint themselves with the range of components available and to acquire the skills needed to assemble an apparatus from these components.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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References

Housekeeper, W. G., Trans, A.I.E.E., 42, 870, 1923.CrossRef
Rosebury, F., Handbook of Electron Tube and Vacuum Techniques, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1965, pp. 54–66.Google Scholar
Strong, J., Procedures in Experimental Physics, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1938, p. 24;Google Scholar
Green, G. W., The Design and Construction of Small Vacuum Systems, Chapman and Hall, London, 1968, pp. 100–102.Google Scholar
Barr, W. E. and Anhorn, J. V., Scientific and Industrial Glass Blowing and Laboratory Techniques, Instruments Publishing, Pittsburgh, 1959.Google Scholar
,Corning Glass Works, Laboratory Glass Blowing with Corning's Glasses, Publ. No. B-72, Corning Glass Works, Corning, NY.
Hammesfahr, J. E. and Strong, C. L., Creative Glass Blowing, Freeman, San Francisco, 1968.Google Scholar
Morey, W., The Properties of Glass, Reinhold, New York, 1954.Google Scholar
Rosebury, F., Handbook of Electron Tube and Vacuum Techniques, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1965.Google Scholar

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