What a headline! And it’s all true.
Question: does old glass sag at the bottom?
Here’s what happened …
David and I were working away, minding our own business, and finishing off the fourth set of brand-new windows that we’ve been making for a mansion on the shores of Lake Geneva, when the phone rang.
It was the BBC.
A top-notch producer wanted to know if old glass was thicker at the bottom.
The reason is, glass has a name for being a “super-cooled liquid” (just as Williams & Byrne has a reputation for being a super-cool stained glass design studio …)
And many people think this fact explains why, when you look at old church windows, for example, you often see bits of glass which are thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top.
Their idea is that, over the centuries, the glass has dropped and sagged.
Andthis BBC producer was ringing us on behalf of Dr Chris Smith.
Dr Chris (as his friends call him) is the anchor-man for an excellent radio show, “The Naked Scientist”, which airs once a week.
(I suppose nakedness doesn’t matter when it’s radio.)
The show covers all the latest scientific breakthroughs.
So how, you might ask, does stained glass fit in?
Well, there’s one section called “Stuff and Non-Science” where they examine a common idea and find out whether or not it’s really true.
This week The Naked Scientist wanted to find out whether old stained glass really droops.
David and I don’t believe it does.
And here, courtesy of the BBC, are our reasons.
Be prepared: the telephone line is slightly rough. (After all, we are in the tranquil heart of the English countryside – wild and isolated territory that it is.)
You have two fine options.
You can skip to the best bit and just hear me.
Or you can learn all about horses, earthquakes and exomic sequencing and then come to the 20th second of the 22nd minute where … The Naked Scientist grapples with the Stained Glass Designer.
It’s your choice:
- Skip to the best bit and just hear me, which is right here.
- Download the whole show right here. (You can always fast-forward the 20th second of the 22nd minute.)
The full program was originally broadcast on 9th March 2009 and is copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Note this: if my voice sounds strange, just remember, it’s not every day that you get to talk with The Naked Scientist.