Yesterday I learned about Prince Rupert’s Drops for the first time. I don’t know what took so long except that I’m into Biology, not Physics. My Physics professor would attest to this. Thanks to my cousins Clint and Andrew, I’m no longer ignorant of the phenomenon that is Prince Rupert’s Drop, and I’m astounded.
They’re produced when molten glass is dripped into cold water, causing the glass to cool quickly and solidify from the outside in. They also bear a resemblance to male reproductive cells, which is why I didn’t include an image. Someone might get the wrong idea about this post and believe it to be about something else.
The head of the glass drop becomes very strong because of the high internal compression. They can withstand bullets and being hammered. I might have understated the coolness of the bulletproof quality. The head is virtually indestructible. The thin tail, however, is very fragile. When it’s snipped, the entire drop explodes.
Mechanical engineer Destin Sandlin took a deep dive into PR drops on his YouTube channel, Smarter Every Day. He and glass artist Cal Breed tested capturing the drops’ explosions in molten glass. When the tails were cut, although the drops still shattered, the molten glass around them contained the bits and filled the drops’ damaged spaces. The molten glass essentially froze the explosion. In addition, it captured the energy paths the heads forged as they were pushed down. It’s a beautiful intersection of science and art designed by God himself.
I’m sure there are deeper spiritual applications within Prince Rupert’s Drop, but it reminded me of the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Like the head of the PR drop, it can withstand intense force. That is until someone or something chips away its most delicate part, wiping out the illusion of strength in an instant. But God! Far more precisely than molten glass filling the exploded bits and fusing them together, God heals our most broken parts and fills every brittle space with his perfect love and protection when we are immersed in Him.
If you’ve lived your life oblivious to the wonder of the PR Drop, go, be amazed!