No Two Alike

Everyone has heard the saying that all snowflakes are different. It’s one of those old saws that not only seems true but might even express a scientific principle. An impressive website entitled SnowCrystals.com asks the question — how can we be sure that all snowflakes are different, when it is impossible to see them all? Hmmmmm.

Snow Crystals.com is the dazzling site of Kenneth G. Libbrecht, a professor of physics
at the California Institute of Technology and the author of several Snowflake books. Libbrecht estimates that approximately one million billion snowflakes fall each second on our planet. In his laboratory Libbrecht has produced hundreds of designer snowflakes often very similar to one another. Still he admits that none of his creations are precisely alike nor does he believe that they will ever be so.

“The seemingly simple phenomenon of water vapor freezing into ice involves a veritable symphony of subtle molecular processes, from diffusive mixing in the air to the complex attachment kinetics that govern how water molecules assimilate into a rigid crystalline lattice. writes Dan Aubrey in his review of Libbrecht’s newest Snowflake book. “Explaining this intricate act of meteorological morphogenesis requires a rather deep dive into areas of mathematical physics, statistical mechanics, materials science, and the many-body molecular dynamics of crystal growth. Even now, well into the 21st century, snowflake science is very much a work in progress, as several rather basic aspects of the surface structure and dynamics of ice at the molecular level remain mysterious.”

Fortunately we don’t have to understand the science of snowflakes to enjoy their beauty. Every winter we have the opportunity to interact with these geometric bits of ice, however they are best viewed under magnification. All this brings us to Wilson A. Bentley, the very first snowflake fanatic. This child of hardworking Vermont farmers became fascinated with snowflakes and after receiving his first microscope began examining snowflakes. Bentley created the world’s first photomicrograph of a snow crystal at the age of nineteen and without higher education or mentorship. Like a snowflake, he was absolutely one of a kind, just as we all are.

Bentley went on to photograph and categorize over 5000 different kinds of snow flakes. The Bentley Snow Crystal Collection of the Buffalo Museum of Science is a digital library providing a high-quality examples of all of Wilson A. Bentley’s original glass slide photographs. This array includes images of ice crystals, snowflakes, and frost as well as his own 47 notebooks of weather conditions analyzed. He first claimed that no two snowflakes are alike and he was right.


#59 THU AQU 
2/9/1865
Wilson A. Bentley

#75 SAT GEM
5/31/1958
Kenneth Libbrecht

Wilson Bentley was born on a Thursday in the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Jupiter is the ruler of his INNER Self and Saturn or Uranus governs his OUTER Self. Individuals born with the #59 THU AQU Dayology Signature think expansively and independently. Those with this Dayology signature believe they were born to do something very important, and they are often proven right.

Kenneth Libbrecht was born on a Saturday in the zodiac sign of Gemini. Saturn is the ruler of his INNER Self and Mercury governs his OUTER Self. Those born with the #75 SAT GEM Dayology Signature are often tough cookies but qualified in their area of expertise. They test and retest things thoroughly. When these folks say something is right or true, they really mean it.

These two snowflake fanatics have very different signatures and personalities. Their DAY RAYS, Jupiter and Saturn are opposites. Jupiter is expansive and Saturn is contractive. This explains their personal approaches to this fairly unexplored field. Bentley recorded the phenomenon of snowflakes, while Libbrecht investigates the atmospheric physics by which they operate.

The SUN SIGNS of these two scientists, Aquarius and Gemini, are both of the AIR element giving them the ability to probe into lofty and diffuse subjects. It does seem that with Uranus as his OUTER ruler, Bentley was inventive considering his period of time, and Libbrecht through his Mercury OUTER ruler, is translating this elusive matter into images and text for the public.

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