Archives for: "March 2022"

Curved Film Frost, Part 1: On the General Causes

March 15th, 2022
As I've seen it, the three most common ways to depict coldness in art and culture are the snow crystal, the icicle, and the curving frost on windows. All of these have seen relatively little study, but without question the last has received the least.… more »

Avalanches, Part 2: Effect of Debris

March 5th, 2022
In part 1 (1), motivated by an avalanche story, we saw that avalanching snow would hardly increase its temperature from all the tumbling. In fact, it would, in falling down some elevation X, warm up by an amount that would be about half of that of the… more »

Frozen Drops on Web

March 4th, 2022
They condense from the vapor, get jiggled and jostled, coalesce, and then suddenly, they freeze. You can see a few strands, more nearly vertical, that must have had a drop slide down soon before freezing, sweeping out all the other droplets and leaving… more »

Bentley’s Most Singular Observation

March 2nd, 2022
[This is the seventh and last in the series of re-posted articles, from 2012.] You don’t have to look at frosted surfaces for very long before coming across something like the following. The picture shows a large ice crystal amid a roughly uniform sea… more »

Why six?

March 2nd, 2022
[This is the sixth in the series of re-posted articles, from 2011.] Why do so many snow crystals look about the same when rotated by 1/6 of a turn? What’s the origin of the six-fold symmetry? Why not five or seven, as Kepler asked(1)? Since it always… more »

Blues and Whites of Snow and Ice

March 1st, 2022
A recent article in the local newspaper asks the question "Why does snow glow blue?" The author gave one inspiration for the article as "..the way white snow glows turquoise in the holes left by boots or ski poles..." The explanation given in the… more »