Icicle Atlas Contains Tons of Icicle Images, Data and Time-Lapse Movies

Posted on March 5, 2015

6-27The Icicle Atlas has been launched by researchers at the University of Toronto, Department of Physics. It contains images, time-lapse movies and data about 237 distinct lab-grown icicles. An image of one of the lab-grown icicles is pictured above. There are over 230,000 images on the site.

Stephen Morris, a professor in U of T's Department of Physics, says in a statement, "I expect to be surprised by what uses people find for it. Of course we hope to mine the data for more scientific results, as we have only scratched the surface on that. But the non-scientific applications are just as exciting."

Some of the possible uses suggested by Morris include making a 3D-printed icicle for a Christmas tree ornament and producing an animated icicle for a Hollywood film. Elements of the icicle data is already being used by composer Jimmie LeBlanc and media artist Fareena Chanda for an art installation called Collide.

Morris also says, "We live in a strange universe where we know the mass of the Higgs boson, but we can't calculate the shape of an icicle. Icicles made with tiny amounts of dissolved salt are covered with ripples that are always nearly one centimetre in size. Nobody knows why."

The Icicle Atlas can be found online here. Here is a video showing the growth of eleven random icicles from the Icicle Atlas. Take a look:

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