The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
It is in fact true that no two snowflakes are alike. These single crystals of ice are so affected by subtle changes in temperature, water saturation, mineral content and wind speed that it’s nigh impossible that two would experience the exact same conditions during their growth. Indeed, just a few degrees' temperature shift can alter a snowflake from the flowery form that we typically think of into a needle or a cluster of bullet-shaped columns. Libbrecht details many of these forms and how they arise, but also how much remains unknown about the elusive shapes. One of his newest theories relates to the fact that the very thin edge of a snowflake becomes highly unstable, leading to unexpected growth. Libbrecht's work can be applied to the growth of crystals used for semiconductors, as well as other nanoscale processes of material formation.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.