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    hi i hve this question for my tutorial next week
    What is the glassy (or amorphous) state? Give examples. How would you expect the radial distribution function of a glassy material to compare with that of a crystalline solid or a liquid?

    i know that the amorphous state differs from the crystalline state in that it has no long range order but hw would this change the RDF compared to a crystalline solid or liquid

    thanks
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    An "amorphous solid" is a solid in which there is no long-range order of the positions of the atoms. (Solids in which there is long-range atomic order are called crystalline solids or morphous). Most classes of solid materials can be found or prepared in an amorphous form. For instance, common window glass is an amorphous solid, many polymers (such as polystyrene) are amorphous, and even foods such as cotton candy are amorphous solids.

    It is difficult to make a distinction between truly amorphous solids and crystalline solids if the size of the crystals is very small. Even amorphous materials have some short-range order at the atomic length scale due the nature of chemical bonding. Furthermore, in very small crystals a large fraction of the atoms are located at or near the surface of the crystal; relaxation of the surface and interfacial effects distort the atomic positions, decreasing the structural order. Even the most advanced structural characterization techniques, such as x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, have difficulty in distinguishing between amorphous and crystalline structures on these length scales.
 
 
 
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