Explore the building blocks of modern materials with this multi-demonstration kit. Model four modern material concepts—X-ray diffraction, Nitinol wires, photoresistors and piezoelectricity. Help your students understand the importance of these materials.
- Diffraction—Simulate the analytical technique of X-ray diffraction with a laser pointer and specially prepared slides in a darkened room. The amazing and unique diffraction patterns produced by each slide will fascinate both you and your students!
- Nitinol Wires—Demonstrate the properties of a nickel-titanium metal alloy that has a “memory.” The crystal structure is easily deformed at cool temperatures. At warm temperatures the Nitinol metal contracts like a muscle and returns to its original shape.
- Photoresistors—This new class of resistors are made of cadmium sulfide and the resistance depends on the incident light upon it. Shine a flashlight to the top of the photoresistor and monitor the resistance with a voltmeter—watch the drastic decrease in resistance.
- Piezoelectricity—Tape an LED to the piezo element, strike the crystalline material with a pencil, and watch the LED light!
All materials included are reusable.
Concepts: Diffraction (scattering), lasers, optical transforms.
Time Required: 30 minutes
Materials Provided: Index cards, laser pointer, optical transform slide with cubic cells, binder clip, nitinol wire, CdS photoresistors, piezo buzzer elements, LEDs.