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Freddyburg Hokie

Joined: 10/7/99 Posts: 35551
Likes: 1800

Because of the probabilities inherent in how ice crystals form....

...and the number of water molecules in each.

"Larger, complex snowflakes are all different. The number of possible ways of making a complex snowflake is staggeringly large. To see just how much so, consider a simpler question -- how many ways can you arrange 15 books on your bookshelf? Well, there's 15 choices for the first book, 14 for the second, 13 for the third, etc. Multiply it out and there are over a trillion ways to arrange just 15 books. With a hundred books, the number of possible arrangements goes up to just under 10^158 (that's a 1 followed by 158 zeros). That number is about 10^70 times larger than the total number of atoms in the entire universe!
Now when you look at a complex snow crystal, you can often pick out a hundred separate features if you look closely. Since all those features could have grown differently, or ended up in slightly different places, the math is similar to that with the books. Thus the number of ways to make a complex snow crystal is absolutely huge. "

(In response to this post by okiehokie1)

Link: From Caltech...

Posted: 01/11/2019 at 4:16PM


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Current Thread:
A thought about the predicted upcoming snow.. -- okiehokie1 01/11/2019 3:47PM
  Because they're female ** -- TomTurkey 01/11/2019 8:47PM
  Counting.... -- Freddyburg Hokie 01/13/2019 5:58PM
  You just blew my mind!! -- BTHokie 01/11/2019 3:53PM

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