Kenneth Libbrecht The Snowflake

ISBN 13: 9780896586307

The Snowflake

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9780896586307: The Snowflake
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Snowflakes may be an everyday, common subject, but youve never seen them like this! A collection of amazing photography of snow crystals using a unique system designed to take super-detailed micro images of these miniature ice masterpieces, "The Snowflake" is an extraordinary look at a seemingly ordinary object. Author Kenneth Libbrecht, a physics professor at Caltech and the pre-eminent snow-crystal researcher, discusses the physics and mythology of snow and how snow crystals are made. Photographer Patricia Rasmussen presents remarkable color micro-photography of snowflakes, and also discusses the history of snow-crystal micro-photography as invented by farmer Wilson Bentley.

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About the Author:

Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht is a professor of physics at Caltech, where he studies how crystals grow. His books include Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes, The Art of the Snowflake, and others. His latest news and views about snowflakes can be found at his website, www.SnowCrystals.com.

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Physicist Libbrecht and photographer Rasmussen both grew up in snowy climes, but it took a scientific and aesthetic focus to deepen their appreciation for snow's hidden beauty, revelations they now share in a felicitous union of word and image. Libbrecht decodes the exquisite architecture of individual snowflakes by explaining how these "miniature ice masterpieces" are literally conjured out of thin air as water vapor condenses into ice in shapes dictated by the geometry of water molecules. Temperature, humidity, and motion all contribute to the forming of snow crystals, which shape-shift rapidly from simple faceted structures to complex branching forms, growing and falling at the rate of a million billion crystals a second. The physics of snow crystals is fascinating, and so, too, is Libbrecht's history of the science of snowflakes, which features Rene Descartes; Johannes Kepler; Vermont farmer Wilson Bentley, who pioneered a method for photographing individual snowflakes; and physicist Ukichiro Nakaya, who figured out how to grow them. And then there are Rasmussen's exquisite photographs of these gems. Donna Seaman
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