And now it’s time for 3+ minutes of jazz and tiny hailstones. From Aatish Bhatia at Empirical Zeal, “The Universal laws behind growth patterns, or what Tetris can teach us about coffee stains.”

As I watched this miniature world self-assemble on my windshield like an alien landscape, I wondered about the physics behind these patterns. I learned later that these patterns of ice are related to a rich and very active current area of research in math and physics known as universality. The key mathematical principles that belie these intricate patterns lead us to some unexpected places…

Observe this quiet, growing collection of ice particles on its own, or read on for a much deeper discussion of universality that includes diagrams, videos, and animated gifs.

Related quiet particle observation: Dust particles dance to a Radiohead cover

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