How To: Make Prince Rupert's Drops (Glass That Fractures at the Speed of High Explosives)

Make Prince Rupert's Drops (Glass That Fractures at the Speed of High Explosives)

A Prince Rupert's Drop is a very interesting demonstration in physics that shows both the strength that a well-organized crystal structure can provide, as well as how violently such a structure can be blown to pieces by stress if the crystal pattern is disrupted.

Made by rapidly cooling a drop of molten glass in cold water, Prince Rupert's Drops are formed in a teardrop shape that demonstrate extraordinary strength on the largest end, easily surviving strikes from a hammer.

Despite the strength in the front, if the narrow tail is so much as scratched the crystal pattern that makes the drop so strong will be broken, and the stresses created as the glass was rapidly cooled will shatter the drop with explosive speed.

2 Comments

You were better off skipping the pseudo-science babble accompanying the video/pics as they show you haven't got a shred of idea of what you're talking about.

You keep writing about crystals, but glass is not a crystal - by definition (as the first sentence of the "Glass" article in Wikipedia explains).

Glass not being a crystal is nothing related to having crystalline structure characteristics. Nearly every solid has them, including metals such as steel.

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