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Archive for March 25, 2018

2018—Glass Transition

Saturday, my friend Honora took me for a drive through the neighborhoods where just five months ago, devastating wildfires raged out of control for days in my home town of Santa Rosa, California.   It was mind boggling to witness block after block of charred vacant lots.  Most of the lots have been cleared of debris and what is left are lines of yellow caution tape, the burned ghosts of trees, and walkways to nowhere.  While we drove through the ravaged Fountain Grove area where the Tubbs Fire first exploded and residents had mere minutes to evacuate, we saw this street light, clear evidence of the deadly force of those fires.  The street light remained upright but its glass globe had begun to melt from the incredible heat.  Glass transition is the term when glass changes from its hard and  brittle “glassy” state into a viscous or rubbery state as the temperature is increased.  That temperature is about 1000°. As the fire burned and raced away on its deadly course, the globe cooled and  froze into this disfigured state, like the scars of a burn victim.

Melted Street Light.jpg