Lab activities and exercises
Download our free lab activity documents for ready-to-go implementation in your lab.
Answer keys with tips for teachers available upon request. Contact us to let us know which key you need, and include relevant teacher/educator credentials.
Our PDFs don’t suit your needs? We will gladly work with you to develop a set of lab activities and discussion questions tailored to your needs!
Kit usage tutorials
Protein Denaturation Kit
Exploring Entropy Single User Kit
Theory and Derivation of the Model System (for Entropy Kits)
Relevant peer reviewed journal articles
Article directly describing our “Exploring Entropy” kits:
- Rogers, T. R. Hands-on Model for Investigating Entropy and Disorder in the Classroom. The Physics Teacher 61, 439–443 (2023).
Easy read about how increasing entropy can lead to increased order:
Has an edible, 2D version of a demo similar to our first product:
Examples of how to improve instruction on entropy while not falling into teaching the misconceptions:
- Lambert, F. L. Configurational entropy revisited. Journal of Chemical Education 84, 1548-1550 (2007).
- Lambert, F. L. Entropy is simple, qualitatively. Journal of Chemical Education 79 (2002).
- Lambert, F. L. Disorder – A cracked crutch for supporting entropy discussions. Journal of Chemical Education 79, 187-192 (2002).
- Lambert, F. L. Shuffled cards, messy desks, and disorderly dorm rooms – Examples of entropy increase? Nonsense! Journal of Chemical Education 76, 1385-1387 (1999).
Simulation & Theory References
Computational simulations of principles and phenomena similar to our products:
- Chen, E. R., Engel, M. & Glotzer, S. C. Dense Crystalline Dimer Packings of Regular Tetrahedra. Discrete & Computational Geometry 44, 253-280 (2010).
- Lee, S., Teich, E. G., Engel, M. & Glotzer, S. C. Entropic colloidal crystallization pathways via fluid–fluid transitions and multidimensional prenucleation motifs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, 14843-14851 (2019).
- Teich, E. G., van Anders, G., Klotsa, D., Dshemuchadse, J. & Glotzer, S. C. Clusters of polyhedra in spherical confinement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113, 669-678 (2016).
Mathematical treatment of packing boundaries:
- Betke, U. & Henk, M. Densest lattice packings of 3-polytopes. Computational Geometry Theory and Applications 16, 157-186 (2000).
- Torquato, S. & Jiao, Y. Dense packings of the Platonic and Archimedean solids. Nature 460, 876-879 (2009).
Articulates subtleties surrounding “entropy” and shows relations among different entropy paradigms:
Possible explanation for simultaneously increasing entropy and order on a large scale:
As seen on Veritasium’s 2021 Science Communication Contest
Is “entropy” the same thing as “disorder”? Can increasing entropy lead to more visible order?
The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy change during any process is greater than or equal to zero. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that this law dictates that disorder is always increasing in the universe. The reason for the misconception is that increasing entropy frequently does correlate with increasing disorder in daily life situations.
As this video points out, “entropy” is not a synonym for “disorder.” Under certain circumstances, increasing entropy can actually decrease disorder!
Notes for advanced viewers:
- I used a very simplified definition of entropy for clarity. The formal definition is: Entropy = (Boltzmann’s constant)*ln(W) where “W” is the “number of ways” I mention.
- The container is shaken to approximate a constant “temperature” system. If this demo was filmed with a slo-mo camera, we could see that the particles are rearranged while in motion; not because of the starting or stopping of the shaking. Put another way: both the entropy and structural order are increasing between every two frames while shaking.
- In case it’s difficult to see, the container is shaken in all directions, which causes the average gravitational force on the dice to be (approximately) zero.