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Is It True That No Two Snowflakes Are Exactly Alike?

We shovel them, we hide from them, and we rejoice when they give us an extra day’s holiday. In a Canadian winter, the snowflake is everywhere. But how do they form? What do their complex and striking shapes tell us about nature? Looking back to our childhood, is it true that no two are exactly alike?

On Wednesday, February 1, as part of Perimeter Institute’s Public Lecture Series presented by Sun Life Financial, Kenneth Libbrecht, Physics Professor at Caltech, takes us on a visual journey to expose the secret life of a snowflake. Explore how the intricate, symmetrical and magnificent patterns emerge in nature’s frozen art through a series of scientific data and spectacular photographs.

Kenneth Libbrecht knows perhaps more than anyone should about the science of snowflakes. Libbrecht is a professor and Chairman of the Physics Department at Caltech, following his PhD in physics from Princeton University. In the mid-1990s, Libbrecht’s extensive research of the molecular dynamics of crystal growth led him back to his roots in North Dakota for a detailed study of how ice crystals – the snowflake – quite literally appear out of thin air.

Kenneth Libbrecht’s lecture, entitled “The Secret Life of a Snowflake: An Up-Close Look at the Science and the Splendour of Nature’s Frozen Art” will be held Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00 PM ET in Waterloo, Ontario. Tickets will be available starting Monday, January 16, 2012.

Further details can be found at

About Perimeter Institute
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is an independent, non-profit, scientific research organization working to advance our understanding of physical laws and develop new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter and information. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, PI also provides a wide array of research training and educational outreach activities to nurture scientific talent and share the importance of discovery and innovation among students, teachers and the general public. In partnership with the Governments of Ontario and Canada, PI is a successful example of public-private collaboration in scientific research, training and outreach.

RJ Taylor | Newswise Science News
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