Research

Growing Icicles

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For those from colder climates, icicles are a familiar part of winter. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, many of which have been captured and cataloged in the Icicle Atlas project. The site contains images, videos, and measurements of more than 230 icicles grown in the lab over the course of four years of research into how and why icicles form the way they do. One interesting result of the work was the discovery that the ripples commonly found on icicles are directly related to impurities. Icicles grown with pure water remain smooth, and only those with ionic impurities, like salt, develop ripples. Check out more images and icicle research at the Atlas. (Video credit: A. Chen and S. Morris/The Icicle Atlas; via Discover)

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