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It’s Okay to Be Smart: The Science of Snowflakes

by Kenny Hoeschen

Winter is definitely upon us and Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to be Smart takes a look at the science of something many of us have already had enough of: snowflakes. Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike, and where did we get that idea in the first place? Vermonter Wilson Bentley was one of the first to study snowflakes under a microscope in 1885. He even captured the first photograph of a snowflake ever recorded.

Turns out the snowflake’s structure is based upon a simple set of rules that go back to the basic laws of physics. But, thanks to the presence of deuterium, it’s impossible for two snowflakes to ever be identical at the molecular level.

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