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Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes

Overview


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 describes the many different types of snowflakes, where and how to find them, and...

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Overview


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 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 or amateur scientist.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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.”

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.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760326459
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 777,636
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Contents An Introduction to Snowflake Watching      Part I: Understanding SnowflakesSnowflake 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 GuideHieroglyphics 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 SnowflakesMagnification                                                    102Snowflake Photography                                    103Finding Snowflakes                                           105Lighting                                                            107 Index                                                               112

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