With winter approaching in the northern hemisphere, Impeller takes a look at the science of snow. From the creation a single snowflake to man-made mountains of it in the desert, these videos explore the beauty and complexity of snow.
1. The first snowflake ever photographed
On January 15, 1885, Wilson Bentley took the world’s first photograph of a snowflake. Hear his story and the science behind why each snowflake is unique.
2. Zapping a snowflake with an X-ray
There are 121 snowflake types, based on their atomic structure. Watch how scientists use an X-ray beam to study snowflakes at the molecular level.
3. How to make snow in a bottle
Ken Libbrecht, Caltech physicist and author of The Secret Life of a Snowflake, shows how to grow snow crystals in a plastic bottle.
4. Making snow on a much larger scale
Ski resorts sometimes need to make enough snow to cover an entire mountain. Find out how they do it, and why the “wet-bulb temperature” is so important.
5. The world’s largest indoor ski resort
Opened in 2005, Ski Dubai has 25,000 square meters of indoor skiing, a 400-meter-long run, and the world’s first indoor black diamond run. The entire resort was built like an enormous refrigerator. Watch the engineering that went into it here.
Read how a Xylem solution helped create ice for the bobsled track in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.