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ERIC Number: EJ1062131
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using Latex Balls and Acrylic Resin Plates to Investigate the Stacking Arrangement and Packing Efficiency of Metal Crystals
Ohashi, Atsushi
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n3 p512-516 Mar 2015
A high-school third-year or undergraduate first-semester general chemistry laboratory experiment introducing simple-cubic, face-centered cubic, body-centered cubic, and hexagonal closest packing unit cells is presented. Latex balls and acrylic resin plates are employed to make each atomic arrangement. The volume of the vacant space in each cell is measured by weighing water poured into the unit cell model, and the packing efficiency of each unit is obtained from the volume of vacant space. The observed values are compared with the theoretical calculations. Students can easily understand experimentally and theoretically that the packing efficiency of the face-centered cubic is the same as that of the hexagonal closest packing and significantly greater than that of the body-centered cubic. Moreover, they can understand the number of the neighboring atoms for any atom (coordination number) in each cell.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan