June 15th, 2010. Colorado Front Range. After a week of rain the clouds have parted to reveal severely clear azure skies and a fresh layer of snow above ~ 11,000′. The grass is growing so fast you can hear it if you listen carefully. The lagomorphs are frolicking in the dewy turf and the adjacent prairie dog colony is overflowing with barking rodentia. The landscaper’s lawnmower releases a refreshing bouquet of terpenes into the air from freshly severed plant tissues.
As I wave my card in front of the security card reader, the electromagnetic door release mechanism clicks and I leave behind the flora and fauna of the great outdoors and enter the world of mass selective detectors, nmr, and exotic molecules. It is a transition from the macro to the micro, from the kilo to the nano. The world on the other side of the wall is immediately concerned with turf management and burrows. In this tiny space we’re concerned with nuclephiles and kinetics, exotherms and yields. Interesting, yes. But in the end, where is it taking us?