Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wind and Window Flower

Photo credit

I've never lived anywhere cold enough for frost crystals to grow on my windows, and lacy window-frost has always seemed like a trope to me. Sort of like nightingales. But this is why Google Image search was invented! Ecce pruina.

Suddenly obsessed, I went to this page which is maintained by a physics professor from Caltech. As I suspected: "Window frost was more common in the past, when houses still had single-pane windows." I'm crazy about this site. It seems that frost, hoarfrost and rime all denote specific ice formations... I'm especially awed by the "frost flower," which appears to be made of cotton candy. Had no idea that water could do that. Apparently it results from water slowly freezing out of wood...

True to the Caltech spirit, there is also a page devoted to the art of growing one's own snowflakes in a vapor diffusion chamber.

And yes, this is a poem about frost by Robert Frost. Happy Advent!


Dr. Thursday said...

Ah... it is no wonder that Genesis puts water almost as primordial as light... It would be just as accurate to say that the new "Luminous" set of mysteries are the "Aqueous"... there are very strong links to water in each of them. (I wrote about that somewhereon my blogg, you might check the "index" for "division of the waters".) There's a lot to say about water, and it is a place where science and art do meet, and perhaps (from time to time) even kiss, or at least walk peacefully hand in hand.

And if you are in the mood, you can use my directions to make your own very unusual paper snowflake (with SEVEN sides)... hee hee. (I've seen plenty made with eight, as no doubt you have also.)

some guy on the street said...

I think I had almost as much fun just now reducing the the challenge (seven sides) to a known folding problem; and I thank you, Dr. T for the instigation!