2-D Diffusion Game

By Tam Mayeshiba

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Play a 2-D diffusion game

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Version 1.00 - published on 11 Nov 2015

doi:10.4231/D37H1DN67 cite this

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The Diffusion Game package introduces students to computational materials modeling by simulating the 2D diffusion of metal atoms. Diffusion is a real-life phenomenon which can be observed by heating a recent U.S. penny with a zinc core and copper coating over a flame. (Any penny newer than year 2000 should work.) The zinc and copper inter-diffuse to create brass. Metallic interdiffusion is important in metallurgy and manufacturing, when metal pieces come into contact under high-temperature service conditions. There are several mechanisms of diffusion. One of the simpler mechanisms is vacancy-mediated diffusion. Metals have an ordered structure. At high temperatures, some spots in this ordered structure are vacant. These vacant spots are referred to as 'vacancies.' If a metal atom has enough energy, it can move into a neighboring vacant spot. At higher temperatures, it is easier for metal atoms to move around and for diffusion to take place, because at higher temperatures there are both more vacancies and each atom has more energy. This computer simulation is accompanied by a paper version of the same game. The two experiences of playing the game and seeing the simulation show the process of modeling real-life materials phenomena and the challenges involved in creating such models.

Creators: Ben Shrago, Tam Mayeshiba

PI: Professor Dane Morgan

Play-testers: CMG group members, especially Dr. Henry Wu; UW-Madison MRSEC RET 2013 cohort; and Matthew Mayeshiba

This project is still in development as of July 25, 2013. Items to be completed in 2014 are to:

  • Finalize the rules, game board, and element cards/dice 
  • Match the GUI exactly to the paper rules and package it as a standalone executable file.
  • Create a teacher's guide including an introduction to computational materials science and a listing of which teaching standards are addressed.

Sponsored by

This project gratefully acknowledges funding from the UW Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program, NSF award number 0908782, with distribution through NSF SI2-SSI award number 1148011, and was created in the Computational Materials Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This project is based upon material developed by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Structured Interfaces at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with funding from the National Science Foundation under award numbers DMR-1121288, DMR-0520527, DMR-0079983, and EEC-0908782. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Ben Shrago, Tam Mayeshiba, and Dane Morgan, "2-D Diffusion Game," https://nanohub.org/resources/diffusiongame2d (2013).

  • Tam Mayeshiba (2015), "2-D Diffusion Game," https://nanohub.org/resources/diffusiongame2d. (DOI: 10.4231/D37H1DN67).

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