Why do bonds form?

A poem in memory of my father:  Professor Joel Bernstein

“Why do bonds form? I asked when

I was five, or six, no more

Summer in his lab, so warm

Balls, sticks, cool concrete floor


He laughed his hearty laugh, and said

“The why is hard to know

But I can draw the graphic and set,

Of how these strong bonds grow


“See crystals, crystallographers

Are both essentially matter

The former made of atoms

And, so naturally, the latter


“Molecules, those balls and sticks

Are organized in space

the rules of thermo-dynamics

we Chemists must embrace

“The lab, the group, the tools – effect

Like landscape, mists, and weather

Yet care, beyond sum intellect

Brings scientists together


“Want to do good science?”

Conditions to grow winners

Are witnessed in alliance,

That is forged in posy-doc dinners”


“If you nail the nitty gritty”

He grinned, relaxed his stance

“Allow for serendipity

As eureka come with chance”


The boy guised comprehension

But today I know it’s true, that

Bonds will form, no question, if

I care for them. Will you? 

By Noam Bernstein