Glass is not technically considered a solid because internally it has no crystalline structure. The proper description for glass is an amorphous solid. Given enough time, a glass pane on a window will actually pool and be thicker at the bottom than at the top. You can see this effect if you look at any historical structures that
still have the original glass in their windows*.
We got on the topic of glass because at the end of the month, many are anticipating that Apple will
finally reveal their mythical "iTablet" or "iSlate" device. The expectation is this 10" device could rewrite the rules of the game for tabletPC going forward. We have no insights as to what may be coming, but we did see something called Gorilla Glass in the Corning booth at last November's PepCom conference which made us think that, if Apple were to introduce a tablet device, it could very well benefit from such a technology.
The hands-on demo in the Corning booth was quite convincing. We were asked to try to scratch or break some Gorilla Glass with a key. While the "normal" glass scratched and cracked quite easily, the Gorilla Glass was impervious to our attacks. It was quite an impressive demonstration of the strength of that thin piece of glass.
Corning's Gorilla Glass is a thin sheet of glass specifically formulated to serve as a protective window for portable display devices. What makes it perfect for a tablet is that it is strong, thin, and damage resistant. Corning uses a chemical strenthening ion-exchange process that creates a compression layer on the surface of the glass substrate. It is this compression layer which provides the protection afforded by the Gorilla Glass. If the Apple Table/Slate does come to be unveiled at the end of the month, we would not be surprised if it was covered by a film of Gorilla Glass. [Permalink] -Gorilla Glass
*Update: We were incorrect when we said that glass still "flow" when it has solidify. It does not. Thank you to Greg A and others for the correction!