Watch this scientist make identical snowflakes


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/04/watch-this-scientist-make-iden.html


#2


Despair.com


#3

#4


#5

Sorry, but at an atomic level, they are still not identical.


#6

He’ll be everybody’s favorite scientist, up until its revealed he’s using ice 9 for the snowflakes. Then it’s going to get weird.


#7

I’ve long hated the misuse of that metaphor, because snowflakes represent uniqueness, not fragility. They’re fragile too, but many things are fragile. Pahlaniuk understood this, being fluent in English and its idioms.


#8

When you see it…

Five-sided snowflakes would be unique for water-ice crystals.


#9

There’s so many things wrong with this on so many different levels, but it’s telling that Disney would hire the first scientist to contort snowflakes into a socially determined definition of beauty. While every snowflake is unique, with enough corporate funding, even this standard can be challenged. While Mother Nature tries at every turn to demonstrate the miracle and unique happenstance of life and existence, Mankind spits in her face and wastes untold resources creating petty retorts.


#10

Bannon has been at this work for a decade at least.


#11

go on…  


#12

Olympics closing ceremony used 5-pointed flakes…


#13

Libbrecht’s web site, SnowCrystals.com, is a wonder of detailed information - everything you ever wanted to know about snowflakes, and then some.

I have several of his books, all of which I recommend, especially The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty and the Field Guide to Snowflakes .


#14

Good eye. Maybe it’s sulphur dioxide…


#15

No, has to be this stuff….


#16

On the contrary, humans have been subjecting snowflakes to human notions of beauty ever since they started examining them in detail.

Almost every snowflake you see, whether real or artistic or symbolic, is selected from the rare individual flakes that are perfectly (or almost perfectly) symmetrical.

Those are quite uncommon – Libbrecht talks about how he has to sort through hundreds of irregular, lumpy, uneven flakes to find the rare single ‘beauty’ specimen. (His books and website also include portrayal of some more typical lumpy and irregular flakes, but most of the attention is still devoted to the ‘beauty’ specimens.)

But Libbrecht’s work doesn’t ‘force’ anything into any sort of ‘mold’ – what it demonstrates
is that variations in detailed form are the result of environmental conditions during crystal growth, so if you grow two flakes very close together simultaneously in still conditions, they will grow in very-nearly-identical environments, and thus produce two very-nearly-identical crystals.

Frozen had a wide variety of snow-crystal forms (all six-sided as they should be thanks to Libbrecht’s input), but. as usual, almost all of them are (unrealistically!) symmetrical.

But that’s the result of humans valorizing symmetry as ‘beautiful’ - something they were doing long before Disney or Ken Libbrecht (or even Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, Libbrecht’s spiritual ancestor) showed up.


#17

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.