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ERIC Number: EJ1159636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Constructing Cost-Effective Crystal Structures with Table Tennis Balls and Tape That Allows Students to Assemble and Model Multiple Unit Cells
Elsworth, Catherine; Li, Barbara T. Y.; Ten, Abilio
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n7 p827-828 Jul 2017
In this letter we present an innovative and cost-effective method of constructing crystal structures using Dual Lock fastening adhesive tape with table tennis (ping pong) balls. The use of these fasteners allows the balls to be easily assembled into layers to model various crystal structures and unit cells and then completely disassembled again. We have found that this method allows us to challenge the students in a hands-on activity where they construct the structures from single balls and not preconstructed layers. Furthermore, this method enables students to construct the body centered unit cell which is difficult to do with glue and table tennis balls.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A