Everyday transformations from one state of matter to another—such as freezing, melting or evaporation – start with a process called “nucleation”, in which tiny particles containing just a few atoms or molecules begin to coalesce. Nucleation plays a critical role in events as diverse as the formation of clouds and the onset of neurodegenerative disease. STROBE Deputy Director Jianwei (John) Miao, led an interdisciplinary team from Lawrence Berkeley Lab, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Buffalo and the University of Nevada Reno, to gain a never-before-seen view of nucleation—capturing how the atoms rearrange in the tiny seed particles at atomic resolution. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, differ from predictions based on the classical theory of nucleation that has long appeared in textbooks.