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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://repositorio.ufba.br/ri/handle/ri/18169

Title: Through glass, the rise of modern science
Authors: Nascimento, Marcio Luis Ferreira
Keywords: Glass;History
Issue Date: 27-Jul-2015
Abstract: Picture, if you can, a world without glass. There would be no microscopes or telescopes, i.e., no sciences of microbiology or astronomy. Artists would draw without the benefits of a three-dimensional perspective, and ships would still guided by what stars navigators could see with their naked eye. People with poor vision would grope in the shadows, and planes, cars, and even the discovery of static electricity probably would not exist. For example, in this particular case, if one rubs a glass rod with a silk cloth, the glass will develop a static positive charge that can attract small bits of paper. We briefly review the history of glass science and technology and discuss some of the great challenges that contributed to modern science between 1600 and 1900. This discussion is based on ten key discoveries and experiments that illustrate how the use of glass evolved. These include: i) the discoveries of Jupiter’s moons and sunspots by Galileo using glass lenses; ii) Torricelli’s discovery of vacuum and atmospheric pressure by means of vertical glass tubes; iii) Hooke, van Leeuwenhoek and the creation of good microscopes using special glass lenses; iv) Newton, the decomposition of light and the reflecting telescope using glass mirrors; v) Thermoscope/thermometer glass experiments using sealed glass tubes; vi) The laws of gas experimentally tested using glass vessels (which are also chemically inert); vii) Germ theory using special long glass vessels; viii) Faraday, the light experiment through a glass bar and electromagnetism; ix) Thomas Edison and the glass light bulb; x) Thomson and the discovery of electrons using glass cathode ray tubes. As will be shown, glass is a material that has been central to many aspects of human history, especially in the developments of modern science and technology.
URI: http://repositorio.ufba.br/ri/handle/ri/18169
ISSN: 0738-7989
Appears in Collections:Artigos Publicados em Periódicos (PEI)

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