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On the Equilibrium Shape of an Ice Crystal

Libbrecht, Kenneth G. (2012) On the Equilibrium Shape of an Ice Crystal. . (Submitted)

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We examine the shape of a an isolated, dislocation-free ice crystal when it is in equilibrium with the vapor phase in an isothermal closed environment, as a function of temperature. From our analysis we draw the following conclusions: 1) The equilibrium shape has not yet been definitively measured for ice crystals; 2) The surface energy anisotropy is likely cusp-like near the facet angles, and the size of the cusps can be estimated from crystal growth measurements; 3) The equilibrium shape is likely nearly spherical with only small faceted regions; 4) The time needed to reach equilibrium is likely prohibitively long, except under special circumstances; and 5) Surface energy effects likely play a relatively smaller role in ice crystal growth dynamics when compared to the role of attachment kinetics.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120521-075926479
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31554
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 18:45
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 15:14

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