On Water Yoga

On Water Yoga

SNOW, IT HAS SIX EDGES by Maximilian Glas

It was deep in the winter of 1611 when the mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler crossed over a bridge in Frankfurt and fine snowflakes drifted down onto him, “all in the form of the hexagon with feathered rays,” he wrote. “It is always like this when it starts to snow snowflakes always form hexagonal stars and there must be a definite reason for it. If it happens by chance, why don’t they form heptagons or pentagons.?”1

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Around 400 years ago, nobody knew how matter was constructed, how crystals grew, or what inner laws the formation of crystals followed. Kepler was the first person in the modern age to seriously think about the subject and to develop a coherent model. It would be another 300 years before the Munich physicist Max von Laue proved this model correct. Fortunately for us, Kepler wrote down his reflections in 1611. He not only handed down a pioneering thought, but one that made it easy to understand why all snow crystals (and respectively ice or water crystals) form symmetries based on the number 6, and this leads us to the fascinating pictures from Masaru Emoto.

Kepler dedicated his Latin script De nive sexangula (About the hexagonal snow) to Counsellor Knight Wackher von Wackenfels, a well-known philosopher, as a “New Year’s gift.” He wanted to delight the enthusiastic nihilist with a present that came as close as possible to “nothingness”: just a little star formed out of snow, along with a few thoughts about it. In these thoughts, Kepler pondered on how the little star could have grown and concluded that it would have very slowly condensed out of the steam in the air.

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