Physicist Libbrecht and photographer Rasmussen both grew up in snowy climes, but it took a scientific and aesthetic focus to deepen their appreciation for snow's hidden beauty, revelations they now share in a felicitous union of word and image. Libbrecht decodes the exquisite architecture of individual snowflakes by explaining how these "miniature ice masterpieces" are literally conjured out of thin air as water vapor condenses into ice in shapes dictated by the geometry of water molecules. Temperature, humidity, and motion all contribute to the forming of snow crystals, which shape-shift rapidly from simple faceted structures to complex branching forms, growing and falling at the rate of a million billion crystals a second. The physics of snow crystals is fascinating, and so, too, is Libbrecht's history of the science of snowflakes, which features Rene Descartes; Johannes Kepler; Vermont farmer Wilson Bentley, who pioneered a method for photographing individual snowflakes; and physicist Ukichiro Nakaya, who figured out how to grow them. And then there are Rasmussen's exquisite photographs of these gems. Donna SeamanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 2006 (circ.: Orange County edition: 187,300; LA edition: 908,000; Valley edition: 200,600)
"With a series of books, photographs and a Web site (www.snowcrystals.com) that gets 2 million hits a year, Libbrecht is expanding his snowflake empire this year when the U.S. Postal Service issues a commemorative four-stamp set with his snow crystal photos. Later, a new Libbrecht book will hit the stands: a pocket-sized field guide to snowflake types that will make it easy for every man to identify and classify nature's frozen art."
The Polar Times (official publication of the American Polar Society), January 2006 (circ. unavailable)
"Anyone who appreciates the handsome, intricate symmetry of snow crystals must buy Kenneth Libbrecht's book."
Home Education Magazine Dec. 1, 2007
“For the truly snow-obsessed, The Snowflake is an excellent overview of the history, science, and art of snowflakes, illustrated with exquisite photographs.”