The Corner

Prince Rupert’s Drop

Yesterday’s post about that scientific conference dedicated to figuring out why glass breaks generated an oddly large amount of email. Since so many of you seem interested in the subject, here’s a tidbit I did not know: Prince Rupert’s Drop.

It turns out that if you drop hot glass into water, it will form a long tear-drop shaped piece of glass. The bulb end can withstand a strike of a hammer. But if you even scratch the thin tail end the whole thing will come apart like a North Korean Rolex.

For those of you completely uninterested in glass stress trivia and who now want the time and brain cells used-up by this information, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now. @jonahnro

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