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Sciences & technologies

Despite being known for millennia, glass continues to be a cutting-edge material and has yet to reveal all its secrets. If we are to understand every aspect of the unusual material we call glass, we need to take a much closer look and examine its atomic structure. All types of glass show a disordered arrangement of atoms, similar to what you would expect from a liquid. This ‘disordered’ or more properly ‘amorphous’ state (as opposed to a ‘crystalline’ state) becomes fixed when the material cools rapidly, and bestows upon glass its numerous properties.

Ce désordre, appelé état amorphe, en opposition à cristallin, lui confère de nombreuses propriétés. The paradox of glass, the fact that it is a solid but has a structure similar to that of a liquid, engenders a wide variety of possibilities; it can be rigid or very flexible, opaque or transparent, colourless or colourful… This theme of the exhibition explores the various properties of glass through a selection of objects, revealing how this fascinating material has revolutionized the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, optics, mechanics and medicine.