March 1, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 5)


Strong Points: Large number of structures, nice graphics
Weak Points: Slow initial load time




The ODYSSEY Basic Crystal Lattices app is a great educational app that allows users to explore how atoms naturally pack together via interactive 3D models. The app includes many examples of six types of lattice structures: simple cubic, body-centered cubic, face-centered cubic, hexagonal close-packed, diamond type, and graphite. For each example, users can manipulate the 3D model using standard pinch-and-zoom mechanics and can vary the visualization by changing the size of the spheres (atoms). Measurement options also allow users to measure the distance between any two atoms within the structure. Using the partial periodic table displayed on the home screen, users can select particular elements to view the lattice structures of their solid forms. A glossary of key terms is also included in the app, as are a series of guided exercises found under the “OBSERVE!” section of the app.

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