This introductory chapter attempts to give a more precise technical description to the phrase “glass-forming melts,” and to comment briefly on the structure and penultimate property of many liquids — their ability to be readily quenched to the vitreous or glassy state. As realized in the last few decades, all melts will form glasses if quenched sufficiently rapidly, but in order to make the goals of this handbook realistic and manageable, only oxide melts are considered. It is hoped
properties such as mechanical strength, transparency and chemical resistance. Chief beneficiaries will be manufacturers of many glasses we encounter in our everyday lives: windows, containers, tableware, optical fibers, television, eyeglasses, mirrors, insulating fibers, light fixtures, stained glass, etc. Those involved in nuclear waste vitrification programs throughout the world should also find this handbook useful. Additionally, it was our intention to provide broad support to modelers of (1) glassmaking processes, (2) atomic and microstructure structure of glass and (3) chemical and physical properties of glass at both melting and room temperatures.