03-14 12:38:20 瀏覽次數: 892
You've probably heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Of course, nobody has ever confirmed that statement by examining every one of the estimated one septillion snowflakes that drift to Earth each year. still, Kenneth Libbrecht, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, is confident that the statement is true.
Snowflakes aren't flaky, says Libbrecht. At their basic level, they're crystalline. The lattice of every snowflake is six-sided in shape. The simplest snow crystals are six-sided flat plates and six-sided columns. Such crystals are common in places where the air is extremely cold and dry. Snow crystals acquire their special beauty when their simple six-sided symmetry blossoms. Under the right conditions, each of the six corners of a crystal sprouts what is called an arm. In a matter of minutes, the arms can become highly ornate and give the crystal a star like appearance.
Several factors in the environment affect the shape and growth rate of a snow crystal. One factor is humidity. Crystals grow faster and in more intricate shape as humidity increases. A second factor is air temperature. A snowflake is born when several molecules of water vapor in a could land on a speck of dust and freeze to form a simple crystal. As the young crystal bops around in the cloud, it passes through air pockets of varying temperatures. If the crystal passes through a pocket of air that is, says,—15 degrees Celsius, it will grow quickly and sprout six arms, says Libbrecht. If the crystal is then tossed into a warmer pocket, one about-10℃, the arms' tips will stop growing quickly and form six-side plates. If the crystal then drifts into an even warmer pocket of about -℃, its top and bottom will grow more quickly than its sides and become more column like in shape.
In the course of its life span, a snow-crystal might flutter through many warmer and colder pockets, acquiring a complicated and unique growth history. Such a history will give rise to a snowflake that is unlike any other. Each arm on the snowflake will look exactly like every other one, but the crystal itself will be one of a kind.
Using his cooling tanks, Libbrecht has learned how to create snow crystals of different shapes—plates, colhuns, needles etc. Libbrecht has even refined his techniques so that he can make crystals that look highly similar to one another. Still, he lacks the control to manufacture identical twin snowflakes. A slight difference in humidity and temperature can upset the growth profile of a crystal.
1. What does Professor Libbrecht believe to be true?
A. No two snowflakes are exactly the same in shape.
B. Somebody has examined all the snowflakes that on Earth.
C. The statement that no two snowflakes are alike is confirmed.
D. None of the above.
2. What do the simplest snow crystals look like?
A. They have six columns.
B. They are flaky.
C. They are cubic in shape.
D. They are six-sided.
3. What are the factors that affect the shape and growth rate of a snow crystal?
A. Humidity and temperature.
B. Water and falling speed.
C. Air and altitude.
D. Both B and C.
4. It can be felt from the description in the 2nd paragraph that the author
A. admires the beauty of the snowflakes.
B. dislikes the changing growth history of the snowflakes.
C. has a particular feeling for those flower-like crystals.
D. likes to compare snowflakes to the stars in the sky.
5. Libbrecht is not able to
A. create snow crystals of different shapes.
B. make crystals that look similar to one another.
C. create snowflakes that are exactly alike.
D. refine his techniques.