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Author Topic: No, it's not a myth: No two snowflakes are ever alike
snopes
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Millions or even billions of snowflakes fall to the earth every winter. But each of those flakes is different.

http://www.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2003/12/13/news/news02.txt

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Auntie Witch
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I recall seeing somewhere (maybe the children's book Snowflake Bentley?) that someone HAS found identical snowflakes before. But it's very, very rare.

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Red Squirrel
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I can only imagine what life a person must have if they spend their time searching for identical snowflakes..... [Razz]

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bufungla
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quote:
Originally posted by ElphabaFaye:
I recall seeing somewhere (maybe the children's book Snowflake Bentley?) that someone HAS found identical snowflakes before. But it's very, very rare.

Nancy Knight of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, for one.

quote:
As part of a study of cirrus clouds for NASA, Knight found two crystals with IDENTICAL STRUCTURES. During a research flight into a Wisconsin snowstorm, she collected some snowflakes on a glass slide coated with oil.

MORE THAN A YEAR LATER she re-examined the photos of the flakes and noted the similarity. Not only that, the shape of the crystals - which have thick asymmetrical hollow columns in the center - is unlike anything she's observed before or found in the literature.

She reported her findings in the May Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. With the coming of colder weather, interest in her findings has been, well, snowballing.

Googling on this was maddening - almost all the hits were personal pages and such, and the number of pages saying "Of course, no two snowflakes are alike" did not heavily outnumber the ones saying "recently scientists have discovered identical snowflakes" (with both statements presented as fact without justification or reference).
This was the most reputable link I could find about the Knight discovery (though not the most informative).

buf 'I must be the biggest flake for spending this much time on it' ungla

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Silas Sparkhammer
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What do you mean by "identical?" Exact same number of atoms? Same number of deuterium atoms? Sam number of molecules of dissolved CO2? Sam number of atoms of absorbed Chlorine? Same number of imbedded grains of pollen?

Or just "look alike to the naked eye?"

Or...what?

Silas

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cevik
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
What do you mean by "identical?" Exact same number of atoms? Same number of deuterium atoms? Sam number of molecules of dissolved CO2? Sam number of atoms of absorbed Chlorine? Same number of imbedded grains of pollen?

Or just "look alike to the naked eye?"

Or...what?

Silas

It turns out that they are different quantum realities of the same snowflake, one just happens to be visiting from The Universe Next Door.
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Barns & No Bull
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 -

Falling Physics, When the Weather Outside Is Frightful

By DENNIS OVERBYE

"The morphology of the snowflake that falls on your windshield depends on the random and erratic path it took from its birth as a seedling to get there. Since no two crystals will follow the exact same path, it is unlikely any two of them will look identical. "We can calculate the odds of identical snowflakes: they are astronomically small," Dr. Libbrecht said in an interview."

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No two alike (probably): the amazing morphology of snowflakes

Who cares about astronomical odds against matches when astronomical numbers of snowflakes fall? As good as it is, the article frustrates because it doesn't provide the numbers for 'the odds against matching' vs. 'the number of fallen flakes past, present and future'. We could learn that exponential numbers of flakes match, matched or will match.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Millions or even billions of snowflakes fall to the earth every winter. But each of those flakes is different.

http://www.daily-chronicle.com/articles/2003/12/13/news/news02.txt

From Cecil's The Straight Dope:

"It's been calculated that in a volume of snow two feet square by ten inches deep there are roughly one million flakes. Multiply that by the millions of square miles that are covered by snow each year (nearly one fourth of the earth's land surface)..."

Hmmmm.... I think that no two articles or opinions on snowflakes match [Big Grin]

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