MatSci Excelets:  Interactive Excel Spreadsheets
for Materials Science

These interactive spreadsheets (aka - simulations) are used in-class and as out-of-class projects.  Through the use of numerical experimentation and "what if" scenarios, we have a powerful discovery learning tool for students using readily available off-the-shelf software.  For a discussion on using Excelets, see Discovery Learning Tools in Materials Science:  Concept Visualization with Dynamic and Interactive Spreadsheets.

How do I interact with the spreadsheet?
The interactivity on the spreadsheets occurs as cells with a yellow background, where the number can be entered by typing in a value, or sliders, where one can drag the center bar or click on the terminal arrows, are changed.  Likewise, the spinner works by clicking on the arrows.  You may also see check boxes or option buttons which perform the indicated task.  A response will occur on the graph and/or data by adjusting any of these items.  List boxes are also used to select information.  Comment cells (red triangle in upper right corner) are used to deliver information as well.

The Collection -
Here are a variety of Excelets (hold the cursor over the link for a brief description) and some pdf handouts for topics in Materials Science.  Some of these are simple calculation aids, while others explore concepts by bringing the mathematics alive.  (Note - In Excel, you may need to resize these spreadsheets to fit your screen by going to View on the menu bar and selecting Zoom.)

Excelets (Javaless Applets)
(For best results - right click and then select Save Target As... to download, then open directly in Excel)
Materials and Measurements - see Investigating and Visualizing Measurement Error for Novice "STEM" Learners

Nuts and Bolts of Extrapolation (activity) (article)

Nuts and Bolts of "Let's Make an Error" (activity) (article)
Rulers and Measurement Error Calibration of a Balance
What if the ruler is not vertical (tilted)? Can Random Error be Controlled?
How do you compare data from two difference sources? How do you determine the error in a calculated result based on experimental measurements?
Error Bars and Data Variability Investigating a Mass-Volume Relationship via Online Collaboration (Google Doc)
Would it sink or float?
Materials Science Concepts
Comparing Linear and Logarithmic Scales over Orders of Magnitude Developing a Mathematical Model for a Burning Candle  (activity)
 Imperfections in Metallic Solids How does the temperature change for a cooling cup of coffee?
(right click and save target as...)
 Comparing the Size of Atoms and Ions Vibrations in Metallic Solids
Homogeneous Nucleation Conductor, Semiconductor, or Insulator?
Does grain size matter when stress is applied? Fraction Crystallized and the Avrami Equation
Bonding in Sodium Chloride Crystals Packing of Metals 
I-V Curves for Materials  Diffusion in Metals
Using Radius Ratio Rules to Predict the Crystal Structure Exploring the Periodic Table:  Metal - Nonmetal Comparison
Thermal Expansion  The Interaction of Electromagnetic Radiation and Solid Matter
Metals and Corrosion  (activity) Carbon Nanotubes (web-based activity)  
X-rays and the Crystalline State of Matter Band Gap Behavior in Carbon Nanotubes
Effective Nuclear Charge Segre Plot (Neutron-Proton plot) 
 Exploring the Crystal Structure of Metals I:  Cubic Structures (web-based structures) Exploring the Crystal Structure of Metals II:  Hexagonal Close Packing (web-based structures)
 Brinell Hardness  Three-point Load Test for Fracturing Ceramics
 Carbon Footprint Calculator Chemical Equilibrium and Free Energy
 Born-Haber Cycle for the Alkali Halides  Lattice Energy of Ionic Compounds
Mean Free Path Calculator Examining the Crystal Structure of the Alkali Halides
Exploring the Band Gap in Semiconductors Metallic Bonding
Behavior of Light at the Interface between Materials The Behavior of Half-Life
Exploring the Periodic Table:  The Entropy of the Elements (activity) Isotope Mixer  
Investigating the Photoelectric Effect

For information on designing Excelets and links to mathematical modeling of data support materials, see Developer's Guide to ExceletsFor more Excelets in general chemistry, see the Chemical Excelets page.

Other good sites for materials science:

Spreadsheet Applications for Materials Science (SAMS) (new URL!!!)

This work is supported by the Howard/Cornell/PGCC/Gallaudet Partnership for Reduced Dimensional Materials (PRDM), which is funded by NSF Grant No. DMR-1205608.

Prior support was provided by the Howard/Hopkins/PGCC Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), which is funded by NSF Grant No. DMR-0611595. 

Please e-mail any corrections, modifications, suggestions, or questions.

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Scott A. Sinex        Prince George’s Community College       7/2014