February 5, 2010

Why it matters

From PW Atkins's Molecules...
Any visible lump of matter – even the merest speck – contains more atoms than there are stars in the galaxy. Each type of atom brings a particular quality to every substance of which it is a part, and although atoms are so small, their colossal number in any tangible sample results in our perception of their properties. When we lift an apple we feel the weight of a galaxy of almost weightless atoms. When we hear the ripple of water we are hearing shock waves as a myriad of almost imperceptible molecules crash down and collide with the other molecules. When we dress we pull across our bodies a great web spun from almost infinitesimal dots and held together by the conspiracy of forces between them. When we see a flame we are seeing the release of an almost negligible droplet of energy, but in such a Niagara that the heat sears and consumes.
That's it...that's all.

I love this quote as it constantly reminds me of why chemistry is so frickin' cool.

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