Individuality

snowflakes.jpg

You know the old saying that “no two snowflakes are alike“? Well it may be possible for two snowflakes to be alike after all. There’s a fascinating article in LiveScience that details how this may be possible.

For anyone who studies probability, this seems reasonable, given that the article mentions that 10^24 snowflakes fall in any given year. The article also contains a photo gallery of fascinating snowflake pictures like the one shown above.

From the article: “A typical snow crystal weighs roughly one millionth of a gram. This means a cubic foot of snow can contain roughly one billion crystals … It is probably safe to say that the possible number of snow crystal shapes exceeds the estimated number of atoms in the known universe.”

Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor of physics at California Institute of Technology runs a website devoted entirely to Snow Crystals at www.snowcrystals.com which is also visually impressive.

Here’s an interesting graphic on the formation of Snow Crystals:

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3 thoughts on “Individuality

  1. SNOWFLAKES by Alan Collins.
    “Two Ways” Denys Rd., Totnes, TQ9 5TW England.
    Chorus:
    O intricate fraternity
    Falling from God’s tears
    In the breathless infinity
    Of years and years and years.
    1.
    Alone like the snowflake
    Cold spaces in-between
    Every unique heartache
    Is hardly ever seen
    Those hidden splendours
    The wild word denies
    Only magnanimity renders
    Ever the surprise
    2. (Chorus).
    My laughter’s like the sunshine
    My tears are like the dew
    My friends my dears my darling
    You know not what you do
    My words just keep on calling
    To all who’ve gone from me
    My tears still keeps on falling
    Although but few can see
    3. (Chorus).
    Jack Frost was at my window
    When I was young up north
    He knew all that there was to know
    And showed me how to love
    I read those icy patterns
    That he’d written in the night
    With all their hidden meanings
    That were hidden from my sight
    4. (Chorus).
    I know too well that we all go
    Our chosen ways towards the sea
    Yet from the magic clouds I know
    That you’ll come back to me
    I can’t explain to everyone
    All that Jack Frost showed me
    You’ll find your revelation
    In Maitreya’s mystery
    5. (Chorus).
    We’re one-off variations
    But can’t you see? It’s true!
    We are the ancient melted ones
    Falling from the blue
    Each sacrificial spirit
    Each soul that seems so new
    Just makes a different self to fit
    A changing situation too
    6. (Chorus).
    Like flocks of birds all flying
    Up through those starry gates
    When we think that we’re dying
    We’ll find our long lost mates
    And when our flock is ready
    With angels in its train
    And Jack Frost’s wand held steady
    We’ll take the air again
    7.
    O intricate fraternity
    Falling from God’s tears
    In the breathless infinity
    Of years and years and years
    Like those mayflies
    When the day breaks
    In my heart’s eyes
    We are snowflakes
    With love to you all.
    Alan J. Collins.

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