The scientific objective of the Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE) is to test fundamental assumptions about dendritic solidification of molten materials. "Dendrites"-- from the ancient Greek word for tree--are tiny branching structures that form inside molten metal alloys when they solidify during manufacturing. The size, shape, and orientation of the dendrites have a major effect on the strength, ductility (ability to be molded or shaped), and usefulness of an alloy. Nearly all of the cast metal alloys used in everyday products (such as automobiles and airplanes) are composed of thousands to millions of tiny dendrites. Gravity, present on Earth, causes convection currents in molten alloys that disturb dendritic solidification and make its precise study impossible. In space, gravity is negated by the orbiting of the space shuttle. Consequently, IDGE (which was conducted on the space shuttle) gathered the first precise data regarding undisturbed dendritic solidification. IDGE is a microgravity materials science experiment that uses an apparatus which was designed, built, tested, and operated by people from the NASA Lewis Research Center. This experiment was conceived by the principal investigator, Professor Martin E. Glicksman, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The experiment was a team effort of Lewis civil servants, contractors from Aerospace Design & Fabrication Inc. (ADF), and personnel at Rensselaer.