Atomic Picture of Plastic Deformation in Metals: Lab Assignment Handout

By Alejandro Strachan

Matereials Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Published on


This document describes the lab activities using online MD simulations to explore the tensile response of a nanoscale metallic wire The document contains a description of the MD simulations to be performed together with questions and activities designed for students to analyze and interpret the simulations. The document also suggests how students can report on their findings and additional activities.

In this lab students will perform online molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of metallic nanowires deformed uniaxially and analyze the results to:

  • Develop an atomic picture of plastic deformation in metals
  • Understand the orientation of the active slip system with respect to the tensile axis
  • Estimate the strength of perfect crystals and compare it polycrystalline samples
  • Explore strain hardening focusing on the difference between annealed and cold worked macroscopic samples and nanoscale samples


This lab handout is part of the learning module Atomic Picture of Plastic Deformation in Metals.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alejandro Strachan (2010), "Atomic Picture of Plastic Deformation in Metals: Lab Assignment Handout,"

    BibTex | EndNote