Precious Little Snowflakes

As I've said many times in many ways, the closer you look at something, the weirder it gets. In fact, when you focus on anything directly, it's always weird - you ever really look at your ears, for instance? Anyways, some fun lovin' scientists - in the name of Science - started collecting snowflakes under a high powered electron microscope, and here are the results. They've got a website! In the picture of above, we're going smaller and smaller. But we can always go smaller still:
Go Saints! The Seahawks don't deserve to be in the playoffs.
 Further magnification - and gosh darn, it's hard not see these pictures and think someone was building these structures. They look incredibly man-made like.
Speaking of - look at this incredible microscopic ice crystal. Damn! As you can see in the chart below, with decreasing temperates/water saturation, the crystals take a variety of different shapes:
 Which leads me to my conclusion: Ice 9. Remember that? Read "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut if not. One of my favorite - perhaps THE favorite - book ever. But in sooth, there are different types of ice. Imagine a world where ice is as hard as granite, and methane flows like water - no need to imagine, as it really exists: Titan. Sirens of.


l.e.s.ter said...

Well, apparently the Seahawks DID deserve to be in the playoffs after all. Those microscopic images are stunning. Ice 9 was the Dead's music publishing company. How's that for homage? Vonnegut picked up the idea when he did PR for GE. It was originally story bait for HG Wells, but Wells didn't take the hook.

Redshirt said...

Explain this "story-bait" comment. I am most intrigued!

Also, Go Seahawks! I never doubted you for a minute!!!!

l.e.s.ter said...

"Ice 9" by Richard Longley

In 1933 a young Kurt Vonnegut was working in public relations at General Electric Laboratories where the
lead scientist was Irving Langmuir. This Nobel Prize-winning physicist was familiar with the work of another
Nobel Prize winner, Percy Bridgman whose speciality was the behaviour of matter when it was subjected to
immensely high pressures. Among Bridgman‘s discoveries were two different kinds of ice, Ice V and Ice VI,
both of which are denser – because the atoms in their molecules are more tightly packed – than those of the
‘natural’ ice physicists call ‘Ice 1’.
Of these high density ices discovered at that time, the most remarkable – and the one that caught
Langmuir’s imagination - was Ice VI, which remains solid under a pressure of 290,000lb/sq in (that’s more
than 19,000 atmospheres) at 180oF. That’s slightly above 82oC - closer to the boiling point than the
freezing point of water under normal pressures.
One day that year, when word reached Langmuir that he was to be visited by H. G. Wells, he felt inspired to
present the world’s most famous living writer of science fiction with a gift. He would transform Bridgman’s
discovery into a more modest version of Ice VI, an, as yet, undiscovered, ‘Ice 9’, that freezes at 114.4oF (or
45.8C – warmer than Ice VI but still much warmer than natural Ice I.) Even more bizarre than Ice 9’s high
melting point, was Langmuir’s notion that it would trigger the freezing of any liquid water it was dropped into
and then, by a kind of chain reaction, all the water around it. This meant that if a single crystal of
Langmuir’s Ice 9 was dropped into any lake, river or ocean it would eventually cause the freezing of every
drop of water on earth.
Langmuir hoped Wells would find a use for Ice 9 in a new work of science fiction but the great man who had
no problems with time travel, the use of anti-gravity to put a man on the moon or with introducing to the
world the menace of the ‘atomic bomb’ – 20 years before Einstein and Szilard – would not bite. But Kurt
Vonnegut did, thirty years later, in his scientific satire, ‘Cat’s Cradle’, published in 1963. However,
Vonnegut did not claim credit for Ice 9 himself, he gave that to one Dr Felix Hoenikker, a scientist inspired
by his own memories of Irving Langmuir (and those of his brother Bernard Vonegut who worked with
Langmuir during World War II, experimenting with dry ice and silver iodide crystals with the intention of
making artificial rain.)

Redshirt said...

Awesome! I can't believe I've never heard this tale before, given my 90s's Vonnegut worship. So cool.

It's true about the ice 3 and 4 and more. They think there's a new version of ice existing right now on Enceladus - liquid water so compressed that it becomes ice-like, yet still a liquid.

Then it gets vented hundreds of miles into space - which must be an awesome site - and forms the newest ring of Saturn.