Thursday, November 1, 2007

iPod screens and science

In my random wanderings around the internet I came across this post on the new iPod Touch (and the iPhone). The guy tries to scratch it with a bunch of household objects and it doesn't scratch. Now this makes for great video, but I found it completely uninteresting.

As you hopefully remember from middle school science, scratching happens with something of higher hardness cuts away part of something with lower hardness. The screen on the iPod Touch and iPhone is supposedly optical glass; I'll assume it's tempered, which would give it a Mohs hardness of a bit over 6. In the video the guy used a coin (I wasn't really paying attention to what coin, but they all have a hardness just under 3), keys (made of cheap steel, probably a hardness of 5 or so), an aluminum can top (2.75), and a box cutter. I couldn't see the box cutter blade but knife steel is normally around 5.5 and titanium is 6. Around here there is a lot of granite in the dirt, which is between 6 and 7.

So his box cutter didn't make a scratch, but if you got dirt in your pocket it might. Gravel or setting it on your granite counter top almost certainly would.

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