Crystallography and the Structure of Matter - Junior SPARK
This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.
All matter is made of atoms. Look around, and what do you see? Rocks, cars, dinner plates, iPhones -- what makes the materials that surround us every day so different from each other? A huge part of the answer is their internal atomic and molecular structure, that is, how the atoms inside are are naturally (or unnaturally) ordered.
Starting from fundamental topics like energetic equilibrium and atomic pair potentials, this course will establish the concept and basic forms of a symmetric lattice. We will use these ideas to study the structure of metals, ionic and ceramic solids, and other crystalline systems, then contrast with semi-ordered materials like glass and plastic.
We will see how these basic structures relate to the observable properties of different materials, and how materials scientists can use this knowledge to create the amazing and expanding variety of stuff, from the kitchen to the space station, that we use every day.
No math beyond basic algebra should be necessary - the emphasis will be on concepts.
*This Junior SPARK course is designed for students, 12 years and older, who are currently in the 6th and 7th grades (entering 7th and 8th grades Fall 2014). Older students are encouraged to register for our Senior SPARK courses.