Laboratory Products

  • Specialty Glass helps Researchers Observe the Expanding Universe

Specialty Glass helps Researchers Observe the Expanding Universe

Jun 22 2015 Read 704 Times

Specialty glass plays a key role in uncovering the far-reaching answers of space. For HEDTEX (Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment) at Austin McDonald Observatory, 156 state-of-the-art spectrographs will serve as the eyes into the universe’s distant past to map the three-dimensional positions of one million galaxies. These spectrographs are using optical mirrors based on BOROFLOAT® glass, the floated borosilicate glass made by specialty glass expert Schott. They will capture the full spectrum of light, measure the distances between galaxies at different times in the early universe, and reveal its composition. With those measurements, scientists can deduce the rate of the universe’s expansion and further understand the physics of dark energy.

BOROFLOAT®’s exceptionally high transparency, outstanding visual quality and optical clarity, and its outstanding thermal resistance are the key performance features helping to observe the universe. The very good temperature stability of this glass is crucial to the HETDEX project because the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, the world’s third largest optical telescope, located more than 6,600 feet above sea level, experiences seasonal temperature and weather fluctuations throughout the year, including snow in the winter and hot sunshine throughout the summer. Thanks to the extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion, BOROFLOAT® resists the challenging expansion and contraction forces that such change of temperatures would typically cause, ensuring high resolution and consistency in researchers’ observation results.

Schott’s specialty glass boasts high chemical durability and excellent mechanical strength mainly due to the addition of higher amounts of boron oxide in its composition, which strengthens the chemical bonds within the glass network. The added boron oxide gives BOROFLOAT® glass a low light refraction behaviour, which together with the material’s superior transmission is a key requirement for precise spectrograph measurement results.

BOROFLOAT® glass is made of pure raw materials, resulting in an extremely low-iron impurity level for float glasses. The sum of it guarantees exceptionally high transmission values. In fact BOROFLOAT® is the industrial glass with the lowest level of iron impurity of all float glass materials in the market.

Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment

Digital Edition

International Labmate July 2019

July 2019

In This Edition Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy - 67th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics - Modular MS Bench System with Integrated Gas Supply for Sciex LC-MS/MS Unveile...

View all digital editions


AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

Aug 04 2019 Anaheim, CA, USA

M&M 2019

Aug 04 2019 Portland, OR, USA

DXC 2019

Aug 05 2019 Lombard, IL, USA

ACS National Meeting & Expo, Fall 2019

Aug 25 2019 San Diego, CA, USA

Microscopy Conference 2019

Sep 01 2019 Berlin, Germany

View all events