What's with matter? Well, everything!

Hold up a flower of your choice and take a good look at it. You will find the colors, smell, texture, and the symmetry of it all to be beautiful. You might even notice things that others miss. Now, take a closer look and think about its inner workings: the structure, internal processes, chemical reactions, and organic changes. Amazing, isn't it!

Just to get it out of the way, matter is anything that occupies space. It includes both natural substances and man ‐ made or synthetic materials. Importantly, all matter is composed of microscopic particles (atoms and molecules). It, however, is the arrangement and interactions of particles in a substance that is interesting. It is because of the countless ways in which particles can arrange themselves in that we have such a great variety of matter.

Be it a flower or a metal, cell or cosmetics, battery or an apple ‐ the infinite variety in nature and the world is due to the transformations that take place at the molecular level. It is these that distinguish us from wood, enable a firefly to emit light, and cause the flavors in a chocolate to be so enticing.

(Hydrogen bonding between adjacent water molecules with in a mass of liquid water creates a slight “stickiness” between these molecules. This property, known as viscosity has a marked effect on all marine organisms. The viscosity of water reduces the sinking tendency of some organisms by increasing the fractional resistance between themselves and near by water molecules. At the same time, viscosity magnifies problems of fractional drag that actively swimming animals must overcome. Refer figure).