Crystals in glass: a hidden beauty

Edgar Zanotto
2013 | 110pp | £40.50
ISBN 9781118521434
Reviewed by Emma Shiells
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but anyone browsing this collection of glass crystallisation images beheld by Edgar Zanotto’s eye is unlikely to disagree with his assessment of beauty. In this book, Zanotto celebrates 36 years of research and discovery in glass crystallisations by sharing 50 of his favourite crystals in glass.
On the surface, it’s a delight just flicking through the pages and admiring the striking images on display. Every picture has accompanying text explaining the material in more detail, providing references and describing the microscopy techniques used. 
Material scientists wanting more technical information on glass crystallisations will find the last three and a half decades of research and discoveries summarised modestly in Zanotto’s introduction.
The carefully chosen images present an array of glass crystallisation phenomena including internal nucleation in glass, surface nucleation on glass, viscous sintering with concurrent crystallisation, eutectic crystallisation, as well as cracks and bubbles in glass ceramics.
Crystals in glass is an ideal book for any budding materials scientist, chemist, physicist or geologist to marvel at the interplay of atom, pattern and light. Or for a scientific photographer looking for inspiration and enrichment, or simply as a slightly alternative, and very attractive, ‘science meets art’ coffee-table book.
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