Notices
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: No two snowflakes are alike. So true. But how far does this variance extend?

  1. #1 No two snowflakes are alike. So true. But how far does this variance extend? 
    Forum Junior Double Helix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    277
    Ignoring multiple/parallel universes and dimensions, it seems pretty clear that no two galaxies are alike either. It would appear that this can also be said for all things of "significant" size and complexity. No two stars, planets, moons or asteroids/comets are alike. Despite their numbers, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    Back to the snowflake. Even if they have the identical mass and shape, contaminants in them would provide the difference, even if the contaminants are the same. Again, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    The same can be said of grains of sand, or particles of "soil". Even "cosmic dust" of the smallest size would still have differences in form, mass and chemical/isotopic composition, or so it would seem. One might imagine if this dust is small enough, some could be identical. It is a sure bet there is a lot of cosmic dust out there.

    So where does this comparison end? At the atomic and molecular level it would seem. But is this even true? It certainly seems that all electrons are the same.

    Atoms make up molecules, and both are composed of subatomic particles. How can we be certain that each form is exactly the same? Could there be some differences so tiny that our best instruments simply can never detect them? Or could there be aspects of their nature we are completely unaware of, for such a variance to occur?

    This one may belong in the trash can, but others should decide that. Perhaps someone else might elaborate on such whimsical musings.......


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,185
    It is just complexity. If the number of arrangements of a collection of things is large, the chances of two sets being arranged the same is small. For ordinary stuff, think of Avogadro's number (6 x 10E(23)).


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,669
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Ignoring multiple/parallel universes and dimensions, it seems pretty clear that no two galaxies are alike either. It would appear that this can also be said for all things of "significant" size and complexity. No two stars, planets, moons or asteroids/comets are alike. Despite their numbers, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    Back to the snowflake. Even if they have the identical mass and shape, contaminants in them would provide the difference, even if the contaminants are the same. Again, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    The same can be said of grains of sand, or particles of "soil". Even "cosmic dust" of the smallest size would still have differences in form, mass and chemical/isotopic composition, or so it would seem. One might imagine if this dust is small enough, some could be identical. It is a sure bet there is a lot of cosmic dust out there.

    So where does this comparison end? At the atomic and molecular level it would seem. But is this even true? It certainly seems that all electrons are the same.

    Atoms make up molecules, and both are composed of subatomic particles. How can we be certain that each form is exactly the same? Could there be some differences so tiny that our best instruments simply can never detect them? Or could there be aspects of their nature we are completely unaware of, for such a variance to occur?

    This one may belong in the trash can, but others should decide that. Perhaps someone else might elaborate on such whimsical musings.......
    If they were not indistinguishable, the rules of statistical mechanics would yield different results, and bulk thermodynamic properties would not be what they are observed to be.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Ignoring multiple/parallel universes and dimensions, it seems pretty clear that no two galaxies are alike either. It would appear that this can also be said for all things of "significant" size and complexity. No two stars, planets, moons or asteroids/comets are alike. Despite their numbers, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    Back to the snowflake. Even if they have the identical mass and shape, contaminants in them would provide the difference, even if the contaminants are the same. Again, a single atom or molecule would distinguish them all.

    The same can be said of grains of sand, or particles of "soil". Even "cosmic dust" of the smallest size would still have differences in form, mass and chemical/isotopic composition, or so it would seem. One might imagine if this dust is small enough, some could be identical. It is a sure bet there is a lot of cosmic dust out there.

    So where does this comparison end? At the atomic and molecular level it would seem. But is this even true? It certainly seems that all electrons are the same.

    Atoms make up molecules, and both are composed of subatomic particles. How can we be certain that each form is exactly the same? Could there be some differences so tiny that our best instruments simply can never detect them? Or could there be aspects of their nature we are completely unaware of, for such a variance to occur?

    This one may belong in the trash can, but others should decide that. Perhaps someone else might elaborate on such whimsical musings.......
    Who compared all the snowflakes?
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: July 28th, 2013, 03:37 PM
  2. Calculating variance question.
    By theorist in forum Mathematics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: February 13th, 2013, 11:02 PM
  3. Theory of Variance and the Existence of Life on Earth
    By himoura in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: October 21st, 2011, 06:20 AM
  4. Possible Fine Structure Large-Scale Variance
    By Michael_Roberts in forum Astronomy & Cosmology
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: September 14th, 2010, 06:54 AM
  5. Best videogame, or game series alike Metal Gear/Solid?
    By blue_space87 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 9th, 2009, 12:43 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •