Learning materials science via the Web using nanospheres and scanning probe microscopes

Eddie W. Ong, Kenneth Mossman, B. L. Ramakrishna, Vincent Pizziconi, William S. Glaunsinger, Eric Patrick, Prashanth Vishwanath, Kranti Allagadda, Terence Tan, Anshuman Razdan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Interactive Nano-Visualization for Science and Engineering Education (IN-VSEE) project at Arizona State University (ASU) has developed a remotely operable scanning probe microscope (SPM), a visualization gallery of images, and a number of educational modules with materials themes. It exploits the incredible potential of materials science for teaching at the high school and college level about fundamental concepts that cross traditionally separated disciplines. The packing of spheres is a topic that is ideal for linking together the different science and engineering disciplines because of the ubiquity and relevance of spheres in the materials world and the universality of the rules that govern their packing over a large range of sizes. Students can perform a number of discovery-based learning activities, over the web by simultaneously using IN-VSEE's web-accessible module (e.g., The Music of Spheres) and by accessing the remotely-operable SPM for experimenting with nanosphere samples that they prepare. With these resources students can pose materials questions and are empowered to design their experiments to increase their understanding of real materials. The fundamental concepts (e.g., packing geometry, density, surface composition, long-range/short-range ordering, intermolecular forces, etc.) they learn through these materials science experiments are applicable to many other curricular, research, and technology areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Science and Engineering Education in the New Millenium
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2001
Event2000 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 24 2000Apr 28 2000

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2000 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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