Mathematical Snowflakes Mimic Nature

Computer simulation of a snowflake.  Image Credit:  University of Wisconsin- Madison

Computer simulation of a snowflake. Image Credit: University of Wisconsin- Madison

Mathematicians at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Davis, have developed computer models that can duplicate the one-of-a-kind structure of snowflakes.  Working for four years to perfect their model, Dr. David Griffeath, UW-Madison, said the model can generate all of nature’s snowflake types in rich three-dimensional detail.  The model not only gets the basic shapes right, including fern-like stars, long needles and chunky prisms, but also fine elements such as tiny ridges that run along the arms and circular surface markings.  For more information, see here.

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