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May 24, 2017

NSF: National Science Foundation Facebook

#NSFfunded researchers have identified why small glass structures called Prince Rupert’s drops can withstand the blows of a hammer and yet burst into dust by simply snipping their threadlike tails.
May 16, 2017

Science Magazine Video: Why a hammer won’t break this unusual piece of glass

The extraordinary strength of the head, they reported in Applied Physics Letters, comes not from tensile, or pulling, stress—as researchers have long believed—but from compressive stress. The team measured compressive stress in the drop’s head equivalent to more than 4000 times atmospheric pressure.
May 15, 2017

Smithsonian: The 400-Year-Old Mystery of These Bullet-Shattering Glass Drops May Finally Be Solved

“The tensile stress is what usually causes materials to fracture analogous to tearing a sheet of paper in half,” said Koushik Viswanathan of Purdue University, an author of the paper, says in a press release. “But if you could change the tensile stress to a compressive stress, then it becomes difficult for cracks to grow, and this is what happens in the head portion of the Prince Rupert’s drops.”
May 15, 2017

Washington Post: The head of this teardrop-shaped glass can withstand bullets

We’ve long known the drops are strong, and we’ve long known why. But researchers at a team from Purdue University, the University of Cambridge and Tallinn University of Technology have quantified just how strong, recently publishing their results in the journal Applied Physics Letters. - Washington Post
May 11, 2017

New Atlas: 400 year-old mystery of Prince Rupert's drops finally cracked

Along with Purdue professor of industrial engineering Srinivasan Chandrasekar, team leader Hillar Aben of Tallinn University used integrated photoelasticity to investigate the drops. This is a technique where a transparent 3D object is suspended in an immersion bath and polarized light is passed through it. The alterations in the light's polarization inside the object show up as rainbow bands that correspond to stress lines.
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