The Kid Should See This

What do snowflakes tell us about our universe?

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“Snowflakes are intricate, beautiful, mysterious, and totally captivating,” physicist Brian Cox begins in the paper cut-inspired Royal Society animation above.

“But for all their complexity – and endless variety – the structure of a snowflake can be explained by a few universal laws of nature. Laws that explain everything from snowflakes to galaxies.

“Let’s start at the beginning. What is a snowflake? Or, to use its more technical name, a snow crystal?”

mathematician Johannes Kepler
The Royal Society and BBC Ideas teamed up with illustrator and paper artist Sam Pierpoint and Studio Panda to create this exploration of the intricate formation, symmetry, and scientific principles behind snowflakes.

snow photography
From mathematician Johannes Kepler in 1611 to Vermont farmer Wilson Bentley in 1885, to today, the animation includes historical breakthroughs in science and photography, mathematical and meteorological patterns, and the captivating beauty of these unique ice crystals.

“Each snowflake is a microcosm of the laws of physics. Gravity makes it fall. Electromagnetism dictates its shape. And you’ve got symmetry. It’s the same with the stars, and solar systems, and planets. And with us. When you look at a snowflake, you can read its history. Its own unique story. The experiences it encounters shape it into what it is. Just like us, really.”

snow crystals
Watch these handpicked videos next on TKSST:
β€’Β Go on a Snowflake Safari
β€’Β How to grow snowflakes in a bottle
β€’ Watch snowflakes form in time lapse through a microscope
β€’ Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible
β€’Β Why is water one of the weirdest things in the universe?
β€’Β Why do honeybees love hexagons?
β€’Β The Sphere-Packing Problem
β€’Β Symmetry, an Eames animated short for the 1961 Mathematica exhibition

via Aeon.

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