Book of the month: Étienne Ghys, La petite histoire des flocons de neige.

Seen up close, a snowflake reveals all sorts of splendors: a marvel of geometry and symmetry. In 1610, the great astronomer Johannes Kepler was astonished and wanted to explain why snowflakes have six branches.

Etienne Ghys has in turn become fascinated by snowflakes. In this book with magnificent images, he tells us the story of the science of snow. Along the way, we meet some picturesque and learned characters, a Swedish archbishop, a French philosopher and an English scientist, others Dutch, American, Japanese, without forgetting “a Lady” and a whale fisherman.

Little by little, we learn that the shape of crystals is linked to the temperature and humidity of the place where they are formed. That by observing a flake, we can know the state of the atmosphere which overhangs us…

Etienne Ghys, with his unequalled talent for writing, makes us discover a whole science. The tone is warm, the story leads us. We reach the steps of the most modern science and we see, by very simple illustrations, the mathematical horizon of crystallography.A wonderful initiatory journey, for all ages. A book where poetry and science are mixed. A book for everyone.

This post is also available in: French

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