In many pictures depicting the molecular structure of quartz glass(In fact, almost every picture that represents amorphous state of any solid that I have seen), the bond lengths are non-uniform (I do not refer to bond angles).

Are the bond lengths really non uniform?

If yes, why is it so?

Because, as far as my knowledge goes, the bond length between the nuclei of two specific atoms with a particular bond order should be uniform at a given constant temperature and external conditions such as pressure etc.( at least in a particular compound it makes). So, the silicon-oxygen bond length ( Not bond angle) in quartz glass should be uniform, shouldn't it? Please correct me if I'm wrong anywhere.

Thanks for any answer in advance!

  • $\begingroup$ You don't see the real 3D structure, but it's 2D projection on a paper/screen, that's why. In a real defect-free quartz crystal structure all Si−O bonds have the same length. Speaking of the illustration for amorphous quartz, the artist is probably tried to depict the lack of periodicity this way. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Oct 29 '19 at 14:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the reply. $\endgroup$ – Ron Oct 30 '19 at 12:23

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