So you think you know chocolate? Maybe you're a chocoholic who has tried hundreds of different kinds (dark, milky, spicy ... you name it); someone who can pair chocolate with wine like a pro. But have you ever looked at chocolate up close? I mean really close?

This is what students in a Johns Hopkins’ intersession class, "Chocolate: An Introduction to Materials Science,” did. Using a powerful scanning electron microscope, they were able to look at the sweet stuff on a molecular level and see chocolate as few people have.

As you can see in the video above, it doesn’t look quite as appetizing as it does to the naked eye, but who knew every candy bar contained such a fascinating miniature landscape of fat globules and sugar crystals?

As amazing as chocolate is, the real point of this exercise was to introduce students to materials science, the interdisciplinary field that combines knowledge from a variety of other branches like physics, chemistry, engineering, metallurgy and mineralogy, to study and improve the materials that surround us. Making the class fun surely made it more effective. In fact, one of the students who took it was so interested that she switched her major from biology to biomaterials.

That’s the power of chocolate!

Michael Graham Richard ( @Michael_GR ) Michael writes for MNN and TreeHugger about science, space and technology and more.