Saturday, December 29, 2007


Snowflake • this painting is sold

The story begins up in a cloud, when a minute cloud droplet first freezes into a tiny particle of ice. As water vapor starts condensing on its surface, the ice particle quickly develops facets, thus becoming a small hexagonal prism. For a while it keeps this simple faceted shape as it grows.

As the crystal becomes larger, however, branches begin to sprout from the six corners of the hexagon (this is the third stage in the diagram at right). Since the atmospheric conditions (e. g. temperature and humidity) are nearly constant across the small crystal, the six budding arms all grow out at roughly the same rate.
While it grows, the crystal is blown to and fro inside the clouds, so the temperature it sees changes randomly with time. But the crystal growth depends strongly on temperature (as is seen in the morphology diagram). Thus the six arms of the snow crystal each change their growth with time. And because all six arms see the same conditions at the same times, they all grow about the same way.

The end result is a complex, branched structure that is also six-fold symmetric. And note also that since snow crystals all follow slightly different paths through the clouds, individual crystals all tend to all look different.

If you would like to purchase a 6" x 6" oil painting on stretched canvas that you see on this site, or commission a painting that is special to you, please email me.

These paintings are priced at $100.00 plus s/h.

Thank You!

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