Synopses & Reviews
Snowflakes are temporary works of art, tiny crystalline masterpieces, each as different from the next as one person is from another. If you would like to look closer at these marvelous creations (and understand their patterns) this handy, pocket-sized book will serve as your introduction to the art and science of the snowflake. As entertaining as it is informative, this comprehensive field guide by snow science’s biggest star describes the many different types of snowflakes, where and how to find them, and what can be learned from their intricate structures and patterns. Also included are handy tips for intrepid snowflake hunters, including what type of snowflakes to expect during certain weather conditions, opportune ways for capturing them (the author prefers the brightly-lit tops of parking garages at night, for example). Illustrated with Libbrecht’s own remarkable microphotographs of real snowflakes, the book is itself a work of art, as delightful to look at as it is to learn from, and as full of wonder as it is rich with answers. An excellent guide for snowflake lovers, classrooms, family fun, as well as the serious scientist.
Publisher's note: Congratulations to Ken Libbrecht on the selection of his snowflake microphotographs for the Holiday 2006 US Postal Service line of postage stamps!
NJ Family Life, January 2007
“This captivating introduction to the science behind snowflakes is highlighted by the author’s own snowflake microphotographs.”
The International Journal of Meteorology, March 2007
“This book really tells the reader almost all he could possibly want to know about the humble snowflake, and certainly made your reviewer ache for an ‘old-fashioned winter’ so that he could use this valuable book in the field.”
Hamptons.com, Nov. 20, 2007
“A handy, pocket-sized book that offers tips for intrepid snowflake hunters, including what type of snowflakes to expect during certain weather conditions, and opportune ways
for capturing them. You can find and buy the book from the publisher or at any major bookstore.”
"Part history, part physics lesson, part sumptuous photo gallery, and overall field guide to the beauty so often lost afloat and under boot." The New York Times, in their review of Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty
The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo), Dec. 9, 2006
“It’s a fun little book that shows nature’s art in great detail.”
Chicago Sun Times, Dec. 6, 2006
“Libbrecht is one of the foremost experts on snow. His recently published Field Guide to Snowflakes (Voyageur Press) is his fourth book on the subject, and his work is included in a new exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.”
The next time the forecast calls for snow, you can be prepared with this fun, informative pocket-sized guide to the amazing world of snowflakes. This guide will not only explain the science behind these one-of-a-kind natural masterpieces, but showcases their delicate beauty through amazing microphotography of real snow crystals. Youll also learn about the most common types of snowflakes, their structures and patterns, when the most beautiful crystals are likely to fall, and how you can best observe and even photograph them.
The next time the forecast calls for snow, you can be prepared with this fun, informative pocket-sized guide to the amazing world of snowflakes. This guide will not only explain the science behind these one-of-a-kind natural masterpieces, but showcases their delicate beauty through amazing microphotography of real snow crystals. You’ll also learn about the most common types of snowflakes, their structures and patterns, when the most beautiful crystals are likely to fall, and how you can best observe and even photograph them.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht was raised in North Dakota and educated at Caltech and Princeton, receiving his PhD in physics in 1984. He subsequently joined the faculty at Caltech, where he is a professor of physics and head of the physics department. He has published numerous articles on a range of scientific topics, as well as a number of books for popular audiences on the formation of snow crystals. The latest news on snow-crystal research can be found on his website at www.snowcrystals.net.
Table of Contents
Contents An Introduction to Snowflake Watching
7 Part I: Understanding Snowflakes
Snowflake Fundamentals 10The Morphology Diagram 11Snowflake Symmetry 12No Two Alike? 13Crystal Faceting 16The Branching Instability 18Faceting versus Branching 19The Knife-Edge Instability 21Ridges, Ribs, and Rims 24Sublimation 27Rime 28Snowflake Classification 30The Origin of Snow 32 Part II: Field Guide
Hieroglyphics in Ice 34Simple Prisms 35Stellar Plates 39Sectored Plates 49Stellar Dendrites 55Fernlike Stellar Dendrites 59Hollow Columns 64Needles 67Capped Columns 69Double Plates 75Hollow Plates 77Split Plates and Split Stars 82Scrolls and Chandeliers 85Bullet Rosettes 86Radiating Plates and Dendrites 87Sheaths 88Cups 89Triangular Crystals 90Crystal Twins 93Twelve-branched Snowflakes 96Irregular Snowflakes 99Hoarfrost 100 Part III: Observing Snowflakes
Magnification 102Snowflake Photography 103Finding Snowflakes 105Lighting 107 Index