Watch Rapidly Cooled Glass Explode in Super Slow Motion

The Slow Mo Guys demonstrate the science of thermal shock by—how else?—destroying measuring cups.

Andrew LaSane
20 . 07 . 16

Gavin and Dan, a.k.a. The Slow Mo Guys, are back with another video that marries destruction with education in the most entertaining way, this time with Pyrex glass measuring cups as the star attraction. Armed with a camera that films at 28,000 frames per second at its starting point, the experimenters decided to see what would happen when very hot glass is rapidly cooled by ice water. As the guys note, there are labels that specifically urge caution against such scenarios, which is why you should absolutely not try this at home.

As you can see in the video, the guys shatter cup after cup while increasing the frame rate each time until they reach an incredibly slow 343,915 frames per second. According to the duo, the reason for the cool and totally dangerous effect is something called thermal shock. When some objects (like glass) experience sudden temperature changes, the two opposing forces can result in more stress than the material can handle. As Dan explains: "The heat wants to expand the glass, and the sudden cold wants to contract it, and the glass just gives up."

In the end, five seconds of real-time time action produced over 19 hours of footage, which you can watch in its entirety on Gavin and Dan's other YouTube channel. 

[h/t YouTube]

Banner image: YouTube

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