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A Quantitative Physical Model of the Snow Crystal Morphology Diagram

Libbrecht, Kenneth G. (2019) A Quantitative Physical Model of the Snow Crystal Morphology Diagram. . (Unpublished)

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I describe a semi-empirical molecular model of the surface attachment kinetics governing ice crystal growth from water vapor as a function of temperature, supersaturation, and crystal mesostructure. An important new hypothesis in this model is surface-energy-driven molecular diffusion enabled by a leaky Ehrlich-Schwoebel barrier. The proposed surface-diffusion behavior is sensitive to facet width and surface premelting, yielding structure-dependent attachment kinetics with a complex temperature dependence. By incorporating several reasonable assumptions regarding the surface premelting behavior on basal and prism facets, this model can explain the overarching features of the snow crystal morphology diagram, which has been an enduring scientific puzzle for nearly 75 years.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Libbrecht, Kenneth G.0000-0002-8744-3298
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191216-161856301
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100320
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Dec 2019 00:52
Last Modified:17 Dec 2019 00:52

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