You've probably done it before, dropped your phone and winced as it landed right on its corner, demolishing the screen. But what happens when your screen shatters, exactly? Buzzfeed FWD gives a nice breakdown.
A lot goes into making a phone's screen durable, both from annoying scratches and the awful full-on shatter. As it turns out, the "strength" of a screen's glass is a combination of a whole bunch of factors. As Buzzfeed explains:
Strength is the relationship between the surface compression and inner tension; it determines, among other things, how many blows a piece of glass can endure before it shatters completely. Glass only breaks in tension, when the force of impact finally overcomes the surface compression. A scratch doesn't shatter glass, but small stresses will eventually lead to a colossal splintering.
Bottom line, don't ever drop that sucker on the corner or you're done for. You can learn about all the details (and play with an interactive gif) over at Buzzfeed FWD. [Buzzfeed FWD]