Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
If glass is made from sand, why is it transparent? © Getty Images

If glass is made from sand, why is it transparent?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Hopefully our answer is crystal clear, all it requires is smoothing out those rough edges and trapping the electrons.

Asked by: Anonymous

Advertisement

To make glass, the sand – together with limestone and soda – is heated to 1400°C. Unlike opaque materials like metals, the electrons in the resulting compound don’t have much freedom within its crystalline structure, and thus are not very effective at absorbing light energy. So light can pass through relatively unscathed.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.

Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content