Guided Tour Through the AMAT Hyperscripts

Before going on a guided tour, please note:
Only links in bold and red lead to pages of the guided tour!
"Guided Tour" pages are not frequently updated. A link to the actual page is always provided.
"Jumping" inside a Hypersript by direct links always produces the "condensed" version with small pictures. Activate the menu ("Up" arrow on the bottom) in order to obtain full-size pictures.
Before you start it is advisable to have a quick look at the general structure of the Hyperscripts and the possible benefits as we see them. The following links will get you there.
General structure.
Motivation and possibilities.
The modules found in the guided tour are regular modules of various Hyperscripts, amended with some explanations. English Moduls have been preferred; but some are in German - sorry.

Regular Pages

Backbone I and II

Lets get started by looking at a typical page of the "Backbone I", the "hard core" of what has to be learned.
The link leads to a typical page of the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript. A few specifics of the page structure will be pointed out.
Here is another example of an early page from the "MatSci I" Hyperscript (in German) with a lot of links to all kinds of other documents.
An uncommented example from the Semiconductor Hyperscript with lots of equations.

Next, some examples of "Backbone II" pages. These pages are typically too detailed for the advanced section; they may be included into the lecture or serve as a base for self-study and term papers.
The first link leads to the first page of a particularly difficult subject in the context of "Defects in Crystals"
The second link leads to a page in the "Electronic Materials" Hyperscript where one of the fundamental laws of junctions is derived in a simple, if somewhat unorthodox way.


Now a few examples of "Basic" pages.
First a short recapitulation of some essentials of Thermodynamics within the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.
Next, a "reminder" in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript with illustrations taken partially from another Hyperscript ("MatSci I") to show the connections between Hyperscripts.
The "Basic" level also allows quick references to mathematical issues that we all (are supposed to) know, but not always remember in detail. The first example is "Stirlings formula" (in German) in the"MatSci I" Hyperscript.
This may even get rather voluminous - look at "Complex numbers" in the "MatSci I" Hyperscript.
Here is the link to the most popular module: "Basic units".


"Illustration" pages, while belonging to the general backbone level, offer possibilities far exceeding what can be done with books because space, costs, and the flow of text are not limiting the number of pictures or the use of color.
A picture gallery illustrating a particular point in "Electronic Materials".
A specific illustration leading to even more detailed illustrations in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.
An illustration to a rather recent issue (in German) in science in the context of the "MatSci I" Hyperscript.
Here is a link to an actual page showing some "break-through" announced by a company with follow-up pages.


There are many "exercise" pages at the present; more to come. There are two formats "conventional" (some woth solutions) and (interactive) "multiple choice". However, putting too many solutions to exercises into the Net is not sensible - something must be left for the exercise classes.
The first example is a page generated by two student for the "MatSci I" Hyperscript in an assignment of the "HTML" course.
Exercises may be different from what is usually done. Here is an example from the"Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript that uses the possibility to include voluminous material in the format.
An increasing number of multiple choice questionaires is added to the exercise part; here is an example.


The "advanced" section is one of the most enticing possibilities of Hyperscripts. It may contain everything not counted as essentials of the course in question. This is not restricted to advanced factual knowledge, but includes historical, philosophical, and other issues. Here we only look a factual issues.
A derivation of an important formula in the context of "Defects in Crystals" which demands a high degree of abstraction and vector calculus.
A really complex math issue.
Another issue is the chemical potential, a (somewhat obtuse) part of thermodynamics touching all Hyperscripts: This example is found in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript; it is always among the 10 most populat modules.
An example for "advanced" issues in the non-factual department can be found in guidelines for oral presentations included in the "Electronic Materials" Hyperscript.

Special Modules


The Hyperscripts contain a large number of complete articles to various subject; either in the "Illustrations" or "Advanced" sections.
On occasion, these articles are used to convey more than just the factual stuff. An example is "Sir Peters article concerning misfit dislocations" in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.
Articles may serve two purposes: They give recent views of top science and they may help the student to realize that even the big people in the field are not perfect (which, it is hoped, may also help them to a more tolerant view of the shortcomings of the Professor teaching the course). Here is the same article again, but this time with comments.
A regular "advanced" research article, again relating to the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.

Animations, Videos and Sound

Animations, Videos and Sound are often seen as the decisive element of "Multimedia" in learning.
Surprisingly perhaps, not many issues in austere Materials Science seem to call for these elements. There was virtually no topic were the use of sound suggested itself as something that would be helpful to get a specific point across. One sound example that does not meet this criteria, however, can be found in the context of "Steel and Smiths" in the "MatSci I" Hyperscript.
Videos, while certainly helpful for many subjects, are still awkward to include; this may change with time. One example is given in "MatSci I" Hyperscript, but again it must be realized that it is not overly helpful for learning the subject matter.
Animations can be rather helpful for students to learn certain subjects. In the second phase of the construction of these Hyperscripts, many more animations will be provided. Here is an example dealing with Diffusion mechanisms from the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.
Another (as yet oversimplified) example demonstrates a critical issue for grain boundaries, again in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript.
One more example: The movement of an edge dislocation through a crystal from the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript. This is a rather simple animation as far as the graphics are concerned, but with an important advantage: it is physically correct.
This example serves to illustrate a not-so-surprising finding: Animations with "perfect" graphics tend to be somewhat incorrect in what they show. After all, the person who did it most likely was not the professor, but a computer expert who did not understand the subject too well.
Examples for his statement can be found in an exercise page.

JAVA Applets

JAVA applets are maybe the most distinct ingredients of a Hyperscript - they make the real difference to conventional scripts (including scripts in HTML format). They are not easy to implement, however. Besides the difficulty of writing programs that are non-trivial, the didactic concept in providing powerful mathematical tools in a script is as yet not existent. Again, the second phase of the Hyperscript construction will make proliferate use of JAVA applets; especially in the presently rather simple "MatSci II" Hyperscript. Below are two examples of presently implemented JAVA with different qualities.
The first example shows the possibilities of numerically calculating "difficult" functions and displaying the results in various ways. A particularly challenging topic from the "MatSci II" Hyperscript has been chosen.
The next example shows the possibility to do simple on-line simulations with JAVA applets in the "MatSci I" Hyperscript.

Side Issues

Materials Science is interdisciplinary and, somewhat in contrast to e.g. Math and Physics, deals mostly with "real life" issues. Products of modern materials science are everywhere in modern society and it is easy to transgress from almost any topic coming up in a lecture to some side-issue of some interest in this context. In traditional lectures, however, there is neither time nor material to really carry out such a transgression. This is different for Hyperscripts as the examples will show.
Products of "modern" materials science also dominated the life of ancient society to large extent. It is a shame that the history of metals, particularly of iron and steel, is hardly ever covered in the teaching of history. It is covered, however, in the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript (and, via links, in other too). You may start a long, sometimes subjective, and sometimes surprising tour clicking on Damascene technique. Together with the History of Steel and the "Magical Sword" modules, these three pages always make the top ten list.
Another side-issue, in this case rather short, are cleanrooms in the context of the "Electronic Materials" Hyperscript.

Historical and Philosophical Topics

Feynman contents that worrying about the history and philosophy of science is a typical middle age disease; he is probably right. Students are not particularly interested in this issue - but they like to be diverted every now and then while seriously working with tough stuff. Why should we not slyly use this weakness by infusing a little sense of history and so on, by sprinkling the Hyperscripts with some short excursions into the matter at adequate points?
First, a short philosophical treatise from the "Defects in Crystals" Hyperscript with some food for thought.
An unexpected view into the of recent history, provided by the friendly SONY advertising department and found in the "Electronic Materials" Hyperscript.
The Hyperscripts contain many biographies. Here is a more unusual one from the "MatSci I" Hyperscript (which even leads on to a follow-up page where the author can indulge in his favorite pastime of ridiculing pompous newspaper feuilleton writers).
One of several historical pages from the "MatSci I" Hyperscript
A good way to find more pages like that is to click at "Index" entries that look somewhat out of context with regard to serious Materials Science.


Materials Science, on occasion, can be funny or entertaining. Here are a few examples:
All newspaper, at least in Germany, can be relied on to mix up "Silicon" and "Silicone" (not to mention Silica). If you want to find out what is what, search the net for "Silicone" (or activate the link to the "MatSci I" Hyperscript and take it from there)!
Units, as we know are trivial - but somehow difficult. What we might be less familiar with is their creative use for the manipulations of politicians (who usually proudly explain that they never understood math and never needed it, too) and some very peculiar reason why the Americans and British still have peculiar units.
There is a lot of interesting lore about making swords (especially of the magic kind), where the special ingredients like dragon blood or chicken shit (this is a good one!)still relate somehow to Materials Science. Examples are given in the MatSci I Hyperscript (you should now be able to find it yourself). Whereas chicken shit went out of style some time ago, bullshit has survived in this context until today as proved in the Defects in Crystals Hyperscript.
A good way to find more pages like that is to click at "Index" entries that look somewhat out of context with regard to serious Materials Science.

Student Projects

Students (including on occasion high school students) are included in the composition of Hyperscript pages on several levels and for good reasons; see "Teaching Experience". Here are some examples to the original pages (without the Guided Tour inserts).
Students generated the JAVA applet shown above with the on-line simulation of crystal formation
A high school student produced many biographies, e.g. for Bohr and Einstein and many others.
A student generated a aarge part of the the Basics page already mentioned that deals with "complex numbers".
Students created rather involved and interesting individual homepages as part of their assignments. However, no links are given because there are no activities in this respect at present
User's Preference.
From Statistics compiled since 2004, the following 12 modules have apperared on and off under the top 6 modules requested by the Users.
Hitlist titles:
1. Einheiten 2. Fröhliche Matwis 3. Damascene Technique 4. Magische Schwerter 5. History steel
6. Chemical potential 7. Plain carbon steels 8. Basic equations 9. Edelsteine 10. Ionic crystals
11. Complex numbers 12. Bandstrukturen      

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