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3D is for me! January 26, 2009

Posted by fetzthechemist in Careers, Musings, Speculation.

I deal with a few techniques that have multi-dimensionality, GC-MS, HPLC with photodiode absorbance detection, and excitation-emission fluorescence. Often when talking about data and looking at results, it strikes me that not everyone’s spatial thinking is the same. Some people just have a harder time of looking at contour plots or a 2D representation and turning it into a 3D mental image.

In all of these (and other techniques with a similar possibility of data output, like NMR with coupling techniques for protons and carbon-13, the real power is looking at the 2D as it changes. The dimensions are pretty independent of each other. You can see minor components in the presence of lots of major components, for instance.

Is this ability to see or not see in 3D inherent? I think to a great degree so. Just as some people taking a class in group theory cannot see all of the axes, planes, centers of inversion, et cetera even when holding a model in their hands, in this data analysis nature is cruel to about half of people. The other half find it easy.

But looking at the 3D representations a lot might help someone not talented to learn how to see things better, but it seems that it would take a lot of exposure.



1. Ψ*Ψ - January 27, 2009

I’m selective with that third dimension–symmetry is easy for me, but asymmetry throws me for a loop. Hope I never have to make anything chiral!

2. fetzthechemist - January 27, 2009

Well, if you really get into odd PAHs moieties in your organic-based electronic components, you might make one of the other symmetry yupes/ The helicenes are left and right corkscrews with really super high optical rotations as you add rings. I have always wondered why they have not drawn more attention, but then again companies would not divulge anything except in patents.

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