These Exploding Droplets of Glass Are a Bewildering Quirk of Physics

Making a Prince Albert's Rupert's drop is easy; you just let some molten glass drip into a bucket of water. But the resulting structure is so much more complex than the process that made it. The guys over at SmarterEveryDay took an in-depth look to explain why part of it can't be destroyed with a hammer, while its other half explodes with the slightest nick.


All the weirdness is thanks to they way the droplet cools from the outside in, building up stress that makes it super prone to explosion, in places, but SmarterEveryDay explains it best. Complete with 100,000+ FPS footage. Who knew a simple drop of glass could be so awesomely weird. You can check out more antics by subscribing to the SmarterEveryDay YouTube channel. [SmarterEveryDay]


What would happen if you dropped the molten glass from a shot tower?

i.e. give it enough time to form a sphere before hitting the water.

Would it be a rock hard ball with just one tiny Achilles heel? Or would it always cool down too much in the fall for the process to work?