Precise and Practical

Prof. Dr. Gerd Mueller, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research in Wuerzburg and member of the Otto SCHOTT Research Award Committee addresses the usefulness of the research.

Has the reliability of these models been tested?

Over the last decade an impressive and, in the opinion of the Award Committee, convincing amount of evidence has been presented by both groups that the models work and yield reliable results – in many instances with the same degree of accuracy as the experimental data.

This is true not only for properties that are directly related to thermodynamic functions and their derivatives such as volume, thermal expansion or heat capacity, but also for transport properties like viscosity, diffusion or ionic conductivity.

Do you expect the models to be of practical use in the near future?

The Otto SCHOTT Award Committee is of the opinion that the thermodynamic models will be of great merit also for very practical purposes. SCHOTT GLAS therefore actively encourages close cooperation between the award winning groups.

What does that mean in concrete terms?

Hopefully software packages will become available soon which can be used as tools for the development and optimization of technical, multi-component glasses. The models today calculate properties from compositions. With the power of informatics and computers it can be expected that the inverse problem, namely suggesting suitable compositions for desired sets of properties, will also be solved readily