Launch Tool

Have you ever wondered why snowflakes look the way they look? How are they formed? What's the difference between snowflakes, ice, and frost? Aren't they all just frozen water?

The SnowCrystals.com site helps you to answer those questions and more by examining the science of snowflakes. The site has six main sections, including: Natural Snowflakes, Designer Snowflakes, Frost Crystals, Snowflake Physics, Snow Activities, and Snowflake Touring. In addition to learning about snowflake physics, you can get a quick overview of the history of the study of snowflakes, view some beautiful photos of snowflakes taken with a photomicroscope, read about designer snowflakes (who knew?), and even learn how to grow your own snow crystals.

Going Further

For Educators

SnowCrystals.com is the brainchild of Kenneth Libbrecht, at Caltech, who is Professor of Physics and studies, among other things, the physics of crystal growth. The photographs and videos on this site could be used to engage students not only in activities that deal with the structure of snowflakes, but also with melting and freezing and perhaps even the water cycle. For instance, students can learn about the structure of crystalline ice and how snowflakes are formed. To reinforce what they have read, students can view photographs of real snow crystals and also view short, time-lapse movies of growing snow crystals.

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Tool Details

Grades Themes Type Project 2061 Benchmarks National Science Standards