light bulbs are an intimate part of modern society. You find them virtually
everywhere, in essentially every home, business, car, plane and even the
space shuttle. In Why Does a Light Bulb Burn Out you explore the history
of their invention and development to see how man can adapt relatively
simple materials to profoundly change society. Next, you can explore the
components of a modern incandescent light bulb, including interactively
exploring how current affects the light the filament emits. Afterwards,
you can explore why the filament gives off light, how bright and what color
it is, through interactive applet-based incandescence tutorials.
you become the inventor, choosing and testing your own filament materials
to invent and optimize your light bulb. Next, you interactively zoom-in
from the macroscopic, to the microscopic and atomic-level to explore why
a filament burns out. In the process you will discover beautiful gemstone-like
crystals that grow in the filament as it ages (image to the left) and where
they come from. You can interactively explore the secrets they reveal
about their individual atoms, how they are arranged, and how they affect
the life of the filament. After completing the module, you will be
able to investigate your own filament materials remotely using SPM Live!
Can you invent a better light bulb?
Does a Light Bulb Burn Out is designed so that each successive section
(History, Components, Filament, Burn Out, and SPM Live) follows from the
previous section. However, you can begin at any point, using previous sections