When a thick plate of glass is hit (strong enough) by an object (say a shoe, by which I don't like to encourage vandalism, but I think that's happened when I saw the glass plate at a train station). This gave rise to the following structure of the plate (more or less; I didn't take a photo) and what I saw resembled the second picture (of the atomic strcture of glas) to some extent, in which one can see the same kind of domains too:
When I moved my fingers over the surface I couldn't tell the difference between a smooth glass plate and the one with the domain structure. The domains extended from one side of the plate to the other without changing their form noticeably. I thought that if you pushed hard enough the smooth glass plate would shatter apart in all the individual domain pieces.
Atomic Structure of Glass: Glass has an amorphous structure. It means that it is made up of a long chain of atoms. ... The chemical structure of silicate glass (ordinary window glass) is an amorphous 3D network of Si-O-Si-O bonds, which are interrupted in places with metal ions (like Al Ca Na).
The corresponding picture:
The domains in the first picture are surrounded by lines where the glass bonds are broken. As I said, you can't feel these lines on the outside. The broken glass seems perfectly smooth. It's maybe because my fingers are not sensitive enough. I don't know.
It's also striking that the domain walls reach from one side of the glass almost perpendicular to the outside.
Can the observed domain pattern in a smooth (tempered but not safety) glass plate, as far as I could feel, be explained by the atomic structure given above? And what about the domains penetrating the entire depth of the glass?