Southampton Physics Colloquia

The Physical Dynamics of Ice Crystal Growth
Prof Kenneth Libbrecht Caltech 14:30, Friday 10 December 2021
Virtual Colloquium Series (Online/Teams)
The humble snowflake presents a remarkably difficult challenge for scientific analysis, as the seemingly simple process of water vapour freezing into ice yields a rich menagerie of self-assembling morphologies depending on environmental conditions. Physically realistic computational growth models are beginning to show promise, but they cannot yet reproduce even basic laboratory experiments. In large part, this unfortunate situation exists because the ice crystal exhibits a complex surface structure accompanied by highly anisotropic molecular attachment kinetics. Prof Libbrecht will describe the phenomenology of snow crystal growth provided by laboratory measurements along with a new physical model that may finally provide a comprehensive picture of the underlying molecular processes.
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