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The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty Hardcover – Illustrated, 5 Sep 2008
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'You'll never look at the white stuff under your skis the same way after getting this close to the powder and the glory of the snowflake' 'dazzling, crystalline, breathtaking ... rich and readable' --L A Times
'dazzling, crystalline, breathtaking ... rich and readable' --Star Tribune
'An unexpected treasure ... Patricia Rasmussen's amazing photographs alone would be worth the asking price but its the text that truly make this book an enjoyable read' --Daily Oakland Press
About the Author
Kenneth Libbrecht is a professor of physics at Caltech, where he studies the molecular dynamics of crystal growth, especially how ice crystals grow from water vapor, which is essentially the physics of snowflakes. He has authored several books on this topic, including The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty, The Art of the Snowflake, and Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Rachel Wing. They have two children.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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It's hard to know what to praise more: Dr. Libbrecht's remarkable text on snowflake research or Ms. Rasmussen's remarkable images of the snowflakes themselves. I found that either aspect of the book would be more than enough reason to assign this book five stars and praise it to the skies.
In the text, you will learn about how we have learned what we know about snowflakes so far and what questions remain to be answered. I was fascinated to see the graphs that showed how temperature and humidity affect the shape of snowflakes so much over small changes in either factor. I was intrigued to learn how scientists have studied this fragile phenomenon (be sure to note how rabbit hair played a part). Scientists are now able to "grow" snowflakes in laboratories to help understand what happens in nature. I also enjoyed the statistical references that explained how it's likely that some water molecules that we each exhaled probably found their way into each snowflake we inspect.
The images are terrific both as examples of the text and as worthy objects for contemplation in their own right. I was especially impressed by the way that Ms. Rasmussen used computer enhancements to add color that made illustrative highlights easier to see. As a result, you will often feel like you are looking at a catalog for a fine jeweler rather than a science book.
The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty vastly transcends the usual coffee table genre of photography accompanied by some text. Instead, this is a book that could easily be used for science classes. Certainly, many more people would want to study science if it could always be made so interesting and beautiful. Despite the rigor in the text, those who are not interested in rigor will still find the text rewarding. You can simply stop when you think you've learned as much as interests you.
As I finished the book, I was reminded of how much more remarkable nature is than our own hand-made attempts to imitate or improve upon nature.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The reviewer below who thought the author doesn't give enough credit to God for the amazing design of the snowflake, may be a little too demanding. Perhaps the author thought the little crystals speak for themselves, and lets the reader draw his own conclusions. I can't look at these beautiful pictures without marveling at a God who is so creative He doesn't "know when to quit"!
The book was in excellent condition as described by the seller. I would certainly be willing to buy from this seller anytime.