As a chemist, I make stuff. I spend a lot of time thinking about how the structure of the molecules that I make will affect the way the behavior of the material made from the molecule, and what sort of properties I can expect to see.
What I find, now that I am practicing in the real world, is that my intuition about individual molecules is pretty solid. Likewise, my understanding of how to make things was well-formed by my education. There is a great void, however, in my understanding of the mechanics of materials. This is a deep, complex, and mathematically forbidding subject, even for someone with a love and affinity for math. It is a world inhabited by tensors and coordinate transforms and, often as not, nonlinearities that make solution of problems impossible without computational firepower that represents yet another subject I have to master.
This is especially true of the subjects of rheology and fluid mechanics. I am not at liberty to explain why, but I have been intensely concerned with these subjects recently. Learning what I need to know has not come easily. With constant exposure to instrumental analysis of these properties, coupled with as vigorous an attack on the theory and mathematics as I can possibly mount with the constraints on my time and mental capacity, I am just beginning to appreciate what an incredibly beautiful and fascinating world I have been surrounded by, yet been insensible toward.
I found an interesting video about fluid behavior that I want to share. The science is cool, the pictures beautiful, and even the dreamy music sort of captures the wonder of the soft matter world that I am fortunate enough to get to explore.