APPLETS: Computer Chip Physics

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Science  08 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5523, pp. 1803
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5523.1803e

The physics underlying semiconductor chips and other solid state devices can be a bear for students to understand, but smoothing the way is this collection of teaching animations. Created by electrical engineering professor Chu Wie of the State University of New York, Buffalo, the 51-and-counting applets explain both basics—such as 3D crystal structures, and how a laser reads the 0's and 1's encoded by a compact disc—and more esoteric topics, such as something called a “bipolar junction transistor.” Wie says his site attracts everyone from grad students to schoolchildren checking out the animation of how microchips are manufactured.

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