Humans have been making glass for more than five millennia, and we’ve been using naturally occurring glass in the form of obsidian for even longer. In recent history, glass has found a home in agriculture, energy production, architecture, transportation, semiconductors and many other industries. Because of its material properties, glass continues to appear on the forefront of scientific research, a remarkable track record for a material that’s been around since the Stone Age.
Today, engineers searching for glass materials suitable for a new technology are met with a dizzying array of choices. Advances in glass research have kept pace with the speed of science and consumer technology. From space telescopes that can withstand extreme temperature swings to smartphones, there is no shortage of specialized uses for glass materials.