Posted by Duncan Blanchard on June 07, 2001 at 13:33:55:
In Reply to: is there a probability of finding 2 identcal snow flakes posted by Timo Betz on June 04, 2001 at 10:56:04:
If you look at snow crystals as they fall on your sleeve, you might think you can see two alike, especially if they are hexagonal plates. But if you look at them under a microscope, as Bentley did, you will see a lot of the intricate internal structure. As this structure is determined by minute changes in temperature and turbulence, and since no two snow crystals follow exactly the same path as they fall, it is highly unlikely that you will ever see two exactly alike.
Foor a discussion of the probability, even down to the molecular level, go the Resources menu on this web site and scroll down to click on Kenneth G. Libbrecht's Snow Crystals. At his home page click on Snow Crystal Primer, and at the very bottom of that page click on "Is it really true that no two snow crystals are alike?" This will lead you to a long discussion of the probability of ever finding two alike.
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