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320px-Einstein gyro gravity probe b

A fused quartz sphere manufactured for use in a gyroscope in the Gravity Probe B experiment. It is one of the most accurate spheres ever manufactured, deviating from a perfect sphere by no more than 40 atoms of thickness. It is thought that only neutron stars are smoother.

Fused quartz or fused silica is glass consisting of silica in amorphous (non-crystalline) form. It differs from traditional glasses in containing no other ingredients, which are typically added to glass to lower the melt temperature. Fused silica, therefore, has high working and melting temperatures. The optical and thermal properties of fused quartz are superior to those of other types of glass due to its purity. For these reasons, it finds use in situations such as semiconductor fabrication and laboratory equipment. It has better ultraviolet transmission than most other glasses, and so is used to make lenses and other optics for the ultraviolet spectrum. Its low coefficient of thermal expansion also makes it a useful material for precision mirror substrates. Fused quartz is a noncrystalline form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). A common crystalline form of silicon dioxide is quartz.

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