The glass bead necklaces from the 6th/7th century come from Hungary and are part of the collection in the department of Archaeology of Prehistory to Early Middle Ages at the University of Jena.

The solid liquid

Glass – our revolutionary companion
The glass bead necklaces from the 6th/7th century come from Hungary and are part of the collection in the department of Archaeology of Prehistory to Early Middle Ages at the University of Jena.
Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

Glass is one of the oldest man-made materials – and yet it continues to baffle researchers to this day. Glass is a liquid that doesn’t flow. Although it is hard and capable of remaining largely intact for millions of years, it is more fragile than almost any other material. Glass has shaped the world as we know it and repeatedly facilitated scientific and social innovations – the Internet would be unimaginable without optical fibres.

Since the United Nations has declared 2022 the »International Year of Glass«, this issue focuses on the glass research conducted at our university, which started with the work of Otto Schott and continues to inspire researchers to this day, where new types of glass and futuristic applications are being researched and where glass testimonies to the history of humankind and the earth still hold new, fascinating insights.

Editorial for Issue 11 »The Solid Liquid«

Glass chemist Prof. Dr. Lothar Wondraczek next to a glass block consisting of high-purity borosilicate glass in the laboratory.
Interview: How glass can help us live more sustainably
Five Roman glass balsamaria from Garizim (Palestine) from the 3rd/4th century AD, part of the antiquities collection of the Institute of Classics at the University of Jena.
Glass has accompanied humankind for thousands of years
High-strength thin glass is clamped in a three-point bending device. This tests the stability of the glass.
Research team investigates how glass can be made break-resistant
Bioactive glasses form a surface of apatite in the human body on which endogenous cells can grow.
Bioactive glasses can help bones regenerate
Metallic glass looks like an ordinary metal from the outside. On the inside, however, it lacks a crystalline lattice structure. This makes it strong and brittle.
Not all glass is the same: metal can also become glass
Different source materials for novel hybrid glasses.
Visiting Professor Thomas Douglas Bennett
Obsidians at the Institute for Geosciences at the University of Jena.
Melt inclusions reveal the formation process of rocks
In this polarisation-optical image of the Martian meteorite »Zagami«, crystalline minerals shine as coloured components in the homogeneous grey glass.
What we can learn about our solar system from glass
One of the largest glass archives in the world: around 94,000 glass samples from the production of the SCHOTT company are located in Jena, owned by the »Deutsches Optisches Museum« foundation.
A look back at milestones, pioneers and their work
Prof. Dr Andreas Tünnermann is Director of the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Jena and Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF.
Interview: Fibre optics and the future of data communication
Prof. Dr. Tomáš Čižmár and his team develop fibre-optic-based endoscopes to gain insights into the living brain.
A hair-thin endoscope can image nerve cells in action
»Modified chemical vapour deposition« is used to create glass rods from which fibres can be drawn. Here you can see the moment when a tube collapses at the end of the experiment.
How optical fibres are designed and manufactured
Crystal at the amplifier stage of the »POLARIS« high-power laser
A look inside the POLARIS short pulse laser system
These fragments of leaded glass windows with stained glass date from the late Middle Ages and were found in Vogelsberg (Thuringia). They are in the collection Prehistory and Early History of the University of Jena.
Glass in University Collections
Drop-off: Das erhitzte Glas wird formbar und bildet aufgrund seines Eigengewichts einen dicken Tropfen. Dieser wird entfernt und der nachfolgende Strang in die Ziehanlage gespannt.
How an optical fibre is made