Chair: Kaite Jones


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Papers are written and oral presentation introducing new ideas, work and research in the field of glass. There will be opportunity for questions after each paper. 

Keynote Speaker 

Jane Cook – “Miracula Rei Unius: A Journey into Glass”

 The Emerald Tablet is a venerated Hermetic text purported by some to lay out, cryptically, the path to making the Philosopher’s Stone.  But it also provides a lovely statement of the root of materials engineering practice: the unification of the behavior of materials at the macro scale with their fundamental structures at the atomic level. In this talk, we shall explore the deep roots of glass chemistry and physics, and dwell particularly on the reasons for one of the more “magical” aspects of glass, which glassworkers understand most profoundly: it’s life-like, even sensual, behavior when being manipulated hot.

Jane Cook is the Chief Scientist at The Corning Museum of Glass where she is the Museum’s principal resource on the science and technology of glass to the public and the glass art community. Dr. Cook is the technical advisor to the new Specialty Glass Artist-in-Residence program, and works with the Museum’s staff on incorporating scientific content in exhibitions and educational programs. She lectures widely at universities, colleges, and art schools, and works closely with artists to teach them how scientific and engineering fundamentals can inform their work.

A materials scientist and engineer with more than 20 years of expertise in glass, ceramics, and metallurgy, Dr. Cook holds a BS in Materials Engineering from New Mexico Tech, and an MS and Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked in research and development for Corning Incorporated for 16 years, is an inventor on over two dozen patent applications, and in 2013, received Corning’s prestigious Stookey Award for outstanding exploratory research.

Dr. James Nole – “Enhanced Transmission, Wide Bandwidth RAR Nano-Textured Windows For Adsorption Resistant Gas Cells”

Wavelength reference gas or vapor cells are utilized in a variety of applications where the wavelength of light needs to be accurately determined.  Applications for reference vapor cells include tunable laser calibration, laser frequency stabilization, and wavelength meter calibration.  Custom configured gas cells are also utilized for next generation high energy lasers such as diode pumped alkali lasers (DPAL) and for polarization of alkali-metal vapors in the presence of noble gases using spin exchange optical pumping (SEOP).

Pyrex and fused silica glass vapor cells are typically assembled using stock cylindrical tubes with flat windows fused onto each end.  Once the tube is fabricated, a vacuum is pulled on the tube chamber through a side port; then the tube is back filled with specified high purity gas and the port is permanently sealed. In order to eliminate reflections into and out of the cells, an anti-reflection treatment is needed on the two external end windows. Conventional thin-film coatings do not provide adequate reflection suppression and operational bandwidth, and exhibit a tendency to become fouled by deposits resulting from chemical reactions within the cell. A new solution for AR treated cells is to replace the coatings with a nanostructure etched directly into the window material. These Randomly-distributed Anti-Reflection (RAR) surface relief nano-textures provide unprecedented low-levels of reflection and extreme broad-band transmission. In addition, the RAR nanotextures exhibit the same chemical resistance as the substrate material, and have been shown to be naturally resistant to alkali chemical attack.
James Nole has been working as Director of Business Development at TelAztec since June of 2004.  His work at TelAztec has focused on penetrating a variety of markets and applications introducing TelAztec’s anti-reflection (AR) nano-textured surfaces, including Motheye and Random type surface relief nano-textures, to be used as an alternative to thin film coatings. He has successfully helped commercialize TelAztec anti-reflection products into a variety of UV, visible, and IR based applications including the high laser damage threshold laser optics market.  In addition, he has recently begun penetrating a variety of markets/applications introducing TelAztec’s nano-structured based optical filtering technology that can again be used as an alternative to thin film filters.   Prior to joining TelAztec, he was one of the founding members of Holographic Lithography Systems, Inc. (HLS) that developed ultra high resolution (80nm CD), fully automated interference lithography based systems.  At HLS, Mr. Nole was V.P. of Worldwide Sales and Marketing from 1995-2003 and was responsible for sales of IL based lithography tool systems and contract patterning services.  He successfully introduced a variety of applications to this technology (telecomm, flat panel display, IR optics, biomed) and completed multi-million dollar system sales to several Fortune 500 telecommunications companies.  Mr. Nole coordinated the sale of HLS in 2000 for $50M.


Klaus Paris  “Robots, Lasers, 3-D-Print – What is the Future of Scientific Glassblowing?”

Thirty five years ago Scientific glassblowing was still very much a traditional craft. Today, in 2019, scientific glassblowers are confronted with creating new apparatus and new ways of creating with glass for the ever changing world of science. Klaus will give an overview about what is possible today and invites everybody to bring in                their own vision of the future of scientific glassblowing.

Klaus Paris is a 2nd generation scientific glassblower starting his career  in 1982 and holds a master craftsman’s diploma as well as a 4 year diploma in Glass Engineering Technology. He previously worked at Heraeus Quarzglas, the Max-Planck-Institut and is currently working at Glasblaeserei Paris and KIT Karlsruhe, one of Europe’s largest research facilities. During his career he has served as a consultant for different international companies updating production lines. Paris, also trains chemists in scientific glassblowing at KIT Karlsruhe and has been a presenter at different international Symposia including with the ASGS.  Though he primarily works with quartz and borosilicate, he has extensive experience with softglass as well. Klaus is a longtime active member of German Glassblower Society and a member of their Board of Directors. 

Sally Prasch – “Silica and the Gravitational Wave”

A century after Albert Einstein predicted his general theory of relativity we have detected gravitational waves. In this presentation, I will be talking about how silica played an important part in the techniques that allowed the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to achieve a length precision that is 10,000 times smaller than a proton. I will also be talking about the work I did for Dr. Steve Penn who significantly reduced the thermal noise in fused silica. Dr. Penn was among those involved with the LIGO research who were awarded a “Breakthrough Prize: Scientists Changing the World” medal lauding the landmark research.

Sally Prasch apprenticed in Scientific Glassblowing 1970–75 with Lloyd Moore and holds a BFA-University of Kansas, Applied Science and Scientific Technology from Salem Community College. She has served the ASGS with the Hudson Mohawk Valley Section, the Northeast Section and National. She has also served on several Standing Committees and Regular Committees of the Society. Sally has been a part of planning four Symposiums and has presented a number of papers, and posters. She has worked for the University of Nebraska, AT&T / Bell Labs, University of Vermont and presently at Syracuse University and the University of Massachusetts. Sally also runs her glass art studio (Prasch Glass), exhibiting her work and teaching the art and science of glass throughout the world. 


Benjamin Revis – Understanding the Gitton Water Clock
The ability to track time as it passes has been a desire from ages past.  Today we have the technological advancements and understanding allowing mankind to accurately divide our days into measurable increments.  Along the way through history and the desire to make improved horological devices, water was used in conjunction with gravity to track the passage of time.  In this paper we will look specifically at the function of Bernard Gittons’ famous water clock.  As I share my experience with recreating one of my own because: “Sometimes to gain a complete understanding of function, you have to build it yourself.”

Prior to graduating from Purdue University in 2002, Benjamin was introduced to scientific glassblowing through a one-semester elementary techniques course taught by John Pirolo. After graduation, the opportunity presented itself to work with John Pirolo at the Purdue University glass shop half-time to continue learning techniques in scientific glassblowing. When a job offer within Benjamin’s degree field became available, however, he took it. As a result, Benjamin left glassblowing to pursue time as a Nuclear Electronics Technician, Radiation Detection and Measurement Laboratory Instructor, and Senior Reactor Operator. Seven years after leaving scientific glassblowing, Benjamin was approached to recreate a glass piece he had done while mentoring with Pirolo. This sparked Benjamin’s desire to look into possible scientific glassblowing jobs leading him to his current position at the University of Iowa. Benjamin has been at the University of Iowa and an active member of the American Scientific Glassblowers Society since 2011. Benjamin hosted the spring Midwest Section meeting in 2014 and chaired the 2014 Symposium Technical Seminars. He has presented paper, poster, and technical demonstrations at past symposia and participated in the Joseph S. Gregar Junior Seminar (2013 – 2015) and the Allan B. Brown Glassblowing Seminars (2016-2017). Benjamin is the recipient of the 2014 Memorial Award and the 2015 Midwest Achievement Award. He has served as the Midwest Director from 2013 to 2017 and the ASGS IT Chair from 2013 to the present.


Dr. Burkhant Serfu – “The SABRE Project’s Search for Dark Matter”

The SABRE (Sodium Iodide with Active Background Rejection) experiment involves the use of making  ultra-pure NaI(Tl) detectors for underground labs in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to resolve annual modulation signals from dark matter particles. Sodium Iodide is a single crystal grown used to detect radiation at the lowest level possible. Trace impurities as low as PPT (parts per trillion) can affect their performance. This paper will detail the special glass requirements and the processes used to grow the crystal.