I am grateful to the IUPAC for the opportunity to write about chemistry for the IYPT! My whole (brief) chemistry career I have been fascinated with the ability of unseeable interactions to manifest themselves as phenomena on the macroscale. I love looking at objects around me and thinking about their chemistry and how that describes their various interesting and useful properties. The fact that scientists have found a pattern (the periodic table) to it all adds to the wonder. All of this I believe contributes to the beauty of the Universe and of the human condition, and I hope to convey my appreciation with this poem.

There are few things that are not chemistry,
But for our sake, I’ll step over that gap.
You’ll find that all you were, are, and will be
The periodic table can unwrap.

Have you, my friend, looked deep into one’s eyes
And seen the fleck of brightness moving back?
What love you felt that moment was disguise
For molecules at work where theory lacks.

I do not mean to deromanticize
The world as we now know it; au contraire!
Please for yourself the wonder here apprize
And dream of bits invisible, as air.

The awesome are mundane, as one may note
Considering the properties of steel:
Materials such magnify the vote
Of tiny carbons, making cities real.

Look closer at your sticky note and think
Of all the LDFs clinging to make
Your papers come apart without a wink
Of ripping, here preventing a headache.

Our celebration ends not with small use:
The transcendence of death we too may count
Among the wonders understanding loosed
As we the periodic trends did mount.

The gift of life we heavily bestow
With remedies developed first from plants:
The synthesis of medicine will show
The way we with benevolence advance.

And yet the evils stubbornly pervade:
Our Table’s used to crush our fellow man;
But we may hope yet governments will trade
Our knowledge, made of atoms, for test bans.

We must take care to rectify our wrongs
To see our planet for the joy it is;
We’ve heard in our search lovely femtosongs
Whose rhymes nuclei and electrons give.

What systems had to come forth to prepare
This coarse-grained history containing us!
Our Gell-Manns watch our Universe with care;
We are of storied particles conscious.

Enlightenment in elements we seek
To promise us the beauty of the world.
Our bodies, chains of carbon, are but meek
Whereas the patterns by Дмитрий unfurled

Are closer to eternity than we
May in all generations ever be.

About Giovanna Truong

I am an enthusiast of chemistry, physics, writing, drawing, politics, international relations, and juggling. This fall I will be attending university.